James Murdoch, who has been in the spotlight over the phone-hacking scandal in the UK, is stepping down from the board at GlaxoSmithKline.

The drugs major noted that Mr Murdoch has decided not to stand for re-election to the board at GSK's annual general meeting, which will be held in May, 2012. He has taken this decision "to focus on his current duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB, and following his decision to relocate to the USA, as chairman and chief Executive, international, of News Corp".

GSK chairman Sir Christopher Gent said that "on behalf of the board, I would like to thank James for the very strong contribution he has made since he was appointed in 2009 and wish him well for the future.” His recent past has been a tumultuous one, however.

The media group owned by his father Rupert Murdoch has been mired in scandal following charges that employees at the News of the World newspaper (now closed down) hacked telephones. Mr Murdoch junior faced grillngs, notably by a parliamentary committee, over his actions as an executive at the top of News Corp.

At GSK, Mr. Murdoch served on the board's corporate responsibility and remuneration committees.