Les HintonLes Hinton, a trusted lieutenant of News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, has stepped down as CEO of Dow Jones & Co., a post that he held since its 2007 acquisition by News Corp.

As former CEO of News International, Hinton said he felt it's his duty to resign though he claims ignorance of "apparently happened" under his watch.

Upon exiting NI in `07, Hinton said he believed the "rotten element at the News of the World had been eliminated; important lessons had been learned and journalistic integrity was restored."

Dow Jones president Todd Larsen will now report to News Corp. COO Chase Carey.

Hinton served Murdoch for 52 years. He joined the company at age 15 in Australia and was given the job of buying sandwiches for Murdoch's lunch.

Murdoch accepted Hinton's resignation with the "heaviest of hearts," noting that "Les and I have been on a remarkable journey together."

He also stressed: "News Corp. is not Rupert Murdoch. It is the collective creativity and effort of many thousands of people around the world, and few individuals have given more to this company than Les Hinton."