Perspectives from ISB

James Rupert Jacob Murdoch the chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox, and Chairman of Sky plc received investor backlash earlier this week. This is significant as many analysts view this third-gen Murdoch, the youngest of Rupert Murdoch’s children by his second wife Anna, as the natural successor to his father, Australia-born American billionaire Rupert Murdoch.

 More than half of the UK media company Sky’s independent shareholders voted against his reappointment as chairman. They argued that it was a breach of corporate governance code and a major conflict of interest as he was also the chief executive of its biggest shareholder, 21st Century Fox. While Murdoch’s leadership was contested, around 71% of the company’s shareholders voted for that the next-gen remain a director.

 Earlier, Murdoch had been forced to stand down as chairman of Sky in 2012 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at News International, where he had held the role of chairman. This new rebellion has been prompted by speculation that Fox might make a new bid to take full control of Sky. Under these circumstances an independent Chairman might stand up against a related party transaction. Sky posted revenues of £5.6 billion ($6.8 billion) in 2015.

 Source: The Guardian, October 13, 2016

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