A growing number of News Corp shareholders with voting rights are considering sending a strong message of discontent to Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch by voting against several long-standing board members including his sons James and Lachlan.
In the run up to Friday’s annual general meeting, holders of News Corp B stock, including normally compliant supporters of Murdoch and his family, are closely examining recommendations by proxy advisory groups ISS and Glass Lewis to vote out as many as 13 of the media conglomerate’s current 15 directors.
“Ninety-nine percent of the time we vote with Glass Lewis on these kind of matters,” said Donald Yacktman, president and co-chief investment officer of Yacktman Asset Management Co in Austin, Texas.
Glass Lewis specifically recommended their fund clients withhold their votes for six directors including James and Lachlan Murdoch along with other News Corp insiders David Devoe, chief financial officer, and Arthur Siskind, a senior adviser to Murdoch.
While most major shareholders declined to comment publicly on their specific voting strategy, several said privately that the proxy advisory groups’ comments would be an important factor in their decision. It follows the high profile and damaging fallout from the phone hacking scandal at News Corp’s now defunct British paper News of the World.
Get your tea and scones, because this one's going to be awesome. I'd love to see Rupert's ass tossed out of his own corporation. We'll see what happens.