London: The two largest public pension funds in America have voted to throw out Rupert Murdoch as the chairman of News Corporation, putting pressure on media chief executive ahead of a showdown with investors this week.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (Calstrs), who together control nearly 400 billion dollars worth of assets, have thrown their weight behind a resolution calling for News Corp to split the roles of chairman and chief executive that Murdoch has held since founding the company,The Telegraph reports.
Calpers, the bigger of the two with 273 billion dollars of funds, said it would not back the re-election of Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, to the News Corp board, while Calstrs has voted against the re-election of every News Corp director.
According to the report, the pension funds join a growing list of heavyweight institutional investors on both sides of the Atlantic to have called for Murdoch to surrender his position.
The expected revolt will put pressure on Murdoch, who is still battling to limit the fallout from the News of the World scandals. It is unlikely, though, that he will be dislodged.
The Murdoch family owns around 12 percent of the company, but its dual class shareholding structure means it has nearly 40pc of the voting power, allowing them to brush aside the views of its investors.
According to the report, Murdoch this week made it clear that he had no intention of relenting, declaring on Twitter that “any shareholders with complaint should take profits and sell!”
First Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012, 21:11