Scant shareholder support for Murdoch sons
NEW YORK — Rupert Murdoch was re-elected chairman of News Corp. with 84 percent of the votes cast during last week’s shareholders meeting but other members of the board, including his sons James and Lachlan, received far less support, according to figures released on Monday.
James Murdoch, seen as the heir apparent to his 80-year-old father, received the backing of 65 percent of the voting shareholders while 35 percent opposed his return to the board of directors, according to a News Corp. filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
James Murdoch has been under fire for his role in the phone-hacking scandal in Britain as head of News Corp.’s newspaper arm there, News International.
Lachlan Murdoch, who has not played an active role recently in News Corp.’s operations, received the support of 66 percent of the voting shareholders with 34 percent opposing his re-election to the board.
Since the Murdoch family controls 40 percent of the voting shares and their Saudi ally Prince Alwaleed bin Talal controls another seven percent the results suggest a majority of the independent News Corp. shareholders voted against the younger Murdochs.
News Corp. announced following the conclusion of Friday’s meeting of shareholders in Los Angeles that all 15 members of the board had been re-elected, but did not provide a voting tally at the time.
A proposal to strip Rupert Murdoch of his role as chairman was defeated while plans by the board to retain control over executive pay were approved.
Rupert Murdoch voiced contrition during the shareholders meeting and vowed to get to the bottom of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the tabloid weekly The News of the World.
Photo credit: Esther Dyson