Tags: Funds | Murdoch | Sons | Board | Election

Murdoch Sons’ Re-Election to News Corp. Opposed by Funds

Friday, 30 Sep 2011 07:36 AM

James Murdoch and his brother Lachlan, sons of billionaire Rupert Murdoch, should be replaced on the News Corp. board to improve accountability at the company, an Australian pension fund group said.

The brothers and four other board members shouldn’t be re- elected because the company needs “credible skilled outside directors,” the Australian Council of Superannuation Funds, whose members manage more than A$250 billion ($244 billion) in pension assets, said on its website.

The pension funds also want a “genuinely independent” chairman, rather than have Rupert Murdoch continuing to hold the role while also serving as chief executive officer. News Corp. has been embroiled in a scandal since July amid revelations its News of the World newspaper hacked a murdered girl’s voice mail, forcing the closure of the U.K. tabloid, executive resignations and the scrapping of a bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.

“Responsibility for this, as well as setting the ethical tone throughout News Corp. and affiliated organizations, rests with the News Corp. board,” the pension fund group’s Chief Executive Officer Ann Byrne said in the statement. “The whole board is responsible for failures of oversight, however we regard it as impractical to recommend against the election of the whole board.”

Greg Baxter, a spokesman for News Corp.’s Australian operations in Sydney, directed calls seeking comment to the company’s New York headquarters.

Other Directors

Teri Everett , a New York-based company spokeswoman, didn’t return a voice-mail message left on her mobile phone outside of normal business hours. Reed Nolte, senior vice president of investor relations at the company, didn’t respond to a phone message and e-mail from Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. units in providing financial news and information.

The pension fund also recommends opposing Andrew Knight, Arthur Siskind and David Devoe, who have all been on the News Corp. board for at least 20 years.

The sixth director whose re-election is opposed is Natalie Bancroft, who has been on the board since her family agreed to sell Dow Jones & Co. to News Corp. in 2007.

News Corp. has already said directors Tom Perkins and Ken Cowley won’t be seeking re-election.

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James Murdoch and his brother Lachlan, sons of billionaire Rupert Murdoch, should be replaced on the News Corp. board to improve accountability at the company, an Australian pension fund group said. The brothers and four other board members shouldn t be re- elected because...
Funds,Murdoch,Sons,Board,Election
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2011-36-30
Friday, 30 Sep 2011 07:36 AM
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