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News Corp. Faces Proxy Call for Independent Chairman

Monday, 02 April 2012 04:53 PM

News Corp. faces a call to appoint an independent board chairman on concerns Rupert Murdoch's media company needs to pursue more reforms following a phone-hacking scandal last summer.

The proxy proposal, filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services, is likely to fan the controversy over governance at the company, which held its annual shareholder meeting in the autumn.

Although unlikely to get a majority of votes, the nonbinding resolution filed last month could put pressure on the board to remove Murdoch, currently News Corp's Chief Executive, from his other role as chairman of the company, the sponsor said.

With current arrangements, the company is "stepping into the scandal with a flawed corporate governance structure," Julie Tanner, who oversees socially responsible investing at Christian Brothers in New York, said in a telephone interview.

The group manages about $4 billion, mainly for Catholic institutional clients. It is among a group of activists gaining traction in their drive to reform corporate governance. Last year, pressure from Christian Brothers convinced Goldman Sachs Group Inc to make leading board role of Presiding Director more powerful.

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Monday, 02 April 2012 04:53 PM
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