Murdoch weathers meeting with critics
October 18, 2012
Rupert Murdoch was willing to take a conciliatory tone at this week’s News Corp. shareholder meeting, but he wasn’t willing to give his critics what they wanted, an overhaul of the board and the establishment of an independent chairman separate from the Murdoch family.
The chief executive officer retained his position and his power at Tuesday night’s meeting, though he acknowledged his critics’ complaints and insisted that his company has worked “hard to make amends, very hard.”
It was the second straight year that Murdoch has faced opposition among shareholders, continuing the fallout from the News of the World phone hacking scandal and bribery allegations at The Sun, two of the company’s British papers.
NOTW was famously shut down and the investigation continues into The Sun, with dozens of arrests made thus far in the two cases.
Some investors have urged Murdoch to step down or appoint an independent chairman. But Murdoch, who is also chairman, refused. He pointed to gains in News Corp. stock and a recent finding by British regulator Ofcom that BskyB, which News Corp. owns 39 percent of, is “fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting license.
He told critics that if they don’t like the way News Corp. does things, they can always sell their stock, echoing a controversial tweet he sent out last week.
Though there have been very vocal rumblings of opposition to Murdoch, and his sons received a number of "nay" votes Tuesday in their reelection, there's very little chance that a shareholder uprising could boot him out.
The Murdoch family controls 40 percent of News Corp.'s stock.
Tags: chief executive officer, hacking scandal, news corp., news corp. scandal, news corp. shareholders meeting, news of the world, notw, rupert murdoch, scandal, shareholders meeting, the sun, this week
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