Rupert Murdoch said he works a 10 to 12 hour workday, but he was not aware of all the details of News of the World, which comprises less than 1 percent of his entire company.
"I employ more than 53,000 people around the world," the elder Murdoch said.
Piers Morgan, CNN host and former editor at News of the World, defended his former boss.
"Rupert called me every week for 18ms on News of the World -- rarely asked about anything but what stories we had that week," Morgan tweeted during the hearing.
Murdoch's son, James, said that what happened at the company's now closed News of the World newspaper was not in keeping with the company's standards.
"I have to tell you I sympathize with the frustration of this committee," James Murdoch said. "It's a matter of real regret that the facts could not emerge and could not be gotten to, to my understanding, faster."
In answer to a number of questions, Rupert Murdoch, 80, said he did not recall exact details and paused for moments before responding.
"We have broken our trust with our readers," a grim Rupert Murdoch said.
One member of Parliament, Tom Watson, asked Rupert Murdoch whether Rebekah Brooks or James Murdoch informed him that victims of phone hacking received monetary settlements. Rupert Murdoch said he did not remember precisely, but his son likely informed him. The elder Murdoch also looked to his son when asked who was the lead counsel of his company at one point.
Sir Paul Stephenson, who quit as head of the Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, testified first about his involvement with the case. He fielded questions from MPs about the department's relationship with the Murdoch papers.
Stephenson told the committee that "distracting" news coverage of his connection to the hacking case gave him no other choice than to resign. "It was my decision and my decision only."
John Yates, assistant commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police, followed Stephenson in answering questions. Yates reportedly reviewed phone-hacking evidence in 2009 and concluded there was no need for a deeper investigation.
"God, I wish I had done something different," Yates told the committee.
Rebekah Brooks is also set to appear before British Parliament on Tuesday morning about the phone hacking.
It is alleged that the tabloid hacked the phones of 4,000 people, from stars to crime victims, to get juicy stories -- all with the encouragement of top editors at the paper and aided by some in the police force.
Members of Parliament and the media reignited the scandal earlier this month after reports the tabloid's journalists hacked the phone of a murdered teen, Milly Dowler. Journalists and a hired private investigator allegedly deleted some voicemail messages in her full mailbox, to hear new ones from concerned family members.
The Murdoch name has been synonymous with News Corp. even before it was incorporated in 1979. Rupert Murdoch, the only son of Sir Keith Murdoch, took over his father's newspaper publishing business, News Limited, after he passed away in 1952.
James Murdoch and News of the World initially told Parliament that phone hacking took place in isolated incidents at News of the World, which has been proven false.