As CEO of Fox News Channel/Fox Business and chairman of Fox Television Station, Ailes' departure is effective immediately, according to a 21st Century Fox statement.
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, will take over the role as chairman/acting chief executive officer of the Fox News Channel and Fox Business.
In a statement Murdoch said: “Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years.”
Fox did not disclose what, if any, senior executive addition would be made for Fox Television Stations.
Ailes came to Fox in 1996 and has been key to the big and sustaining growth at Fox News Channel -- the dominant cable news network in terms of viewership. Previously, he was the president of CNBC.
Reports suggest Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch -- 21st Century Fox’s executive chairman, and CEO, respectively, the sons of Rupert Murdoch -- were looking to make a change after their recent promotions to top senior executive positions at the company.
But given Fox News Channel's powerful contribution to the financial bottom line of 21st Century Fox, many believe any transition would be difficult at best.
The departure comes after a recent sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson against Ailes -- as well as reported disclosures of accusations by other women at the network.