Shareholders renew ‘Murdoch out’ call

Some major shareholders have renewed their call for Rupert Murdoch to resign as News Corp chairman at the company’s annual meeting later this year. Eighteen major shareholders including Connecticut’s state pension fund and the UK’s Legal & General have now signed a letter calling for Murdoch to step down from the company he has spent 60 years building.

“We believe it is important for News Corporation to uphold the highest standards of corporate governance in order to protect the value of our investment. Given the recent reputational, legal and regulatory risks brought about by allegations of phone hacking and payments to police officers by News Corporation subsidiaries in the UK and subsequent investigations in the UK and the US, we believe the board is in need of independent leadership,” the shareholders wrote to Murdoch.

The campaign has been organised by Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) and members of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF). CBIS organised a similar protest at last year’s meeting. Murdoch received the support of 86 per cent of voting shareholders but the majority of independent votes went against key board members including his sons Lachlan and James, who ran the UK newspaper business. The Murdoch family owns 47 per cent of voting stock.

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