WASHINGTON — News Corp said Thursday that Jonathan Miller, head of digital operations for Rupert Murdoch's media-entertainment conglomerate, would step aside as the group prepares for its split.

Miller, who became chief digital officer in 2009, will leave his post at the end of September "as the company moves towards its proposed separation into two distinct companies," a News Corp statement said.

He will serve as "an outside advisor to News Corporation on digital issues through fall 2013," the statement said.

Murdoch, who is chairman and chief executive, praised Miller for revamping the company's Web properties and bringing attention to digital content distribution.

"Jon Miller is a visionary in the digital media industry, and his commitment to News Corporation over the last three years has driven us to truly evolve the way millions of people use new platforms to consume news and entertainment," Murdoch said.

"As we prepare for our proposed company separation, I respect Jon's desire to return to an operational, entrepreneurial role with a standalone company. He will be missed and I can't thank him enough for his efforts and many valued contributions."

A former head of Time Warner online unit AOL, Miller led efforts to take stakes in digital television firm Roku and Bona Film Group, and represented News Corp on the board of Hulu, another digital television group.

He also ran the unit with MySpace, the social network which News Corp. bought in 2005 for $580 million and sold last year for $35 million.

"This has been a fantastic three years and we've made real progress across a number of fronts," Miller said.

"I am grateful to (chief operating officer) Chase (Carey), Rupert and James (Murdoch) for the opportunity to work across such a great canvas of businesses at a time of real industry change and transformation. While my time spent has been productive, it feels like the right time to exit. I look forward to pursuing new ventures that will lead me back into an operational role."

Murdoch announced in June that the conglomerate will press ahead with a split of the entertainment division from its struggling publishing business.

Murdoch said he would be chairman of both companies, including an entertainment unit led by Fox studios and television assets, and a publishing unit that includes The Wall Street Journal and Times of London.