UK fund manager wants Murdochs off News Corp board
London: A British fund manager on Friday called
for Rupert Murdoch to resign as chairman of News Corp. as a
step toward restoring trust in the global media company.
The British firm Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which
manages more than USD 140 billion of assets, also called for
Murdoch's sons James and Lachlan and affiliated directors to
be replaced by what it called "credible outside directors."
"News Corp. has not reacted with sufficient urgency to
investor concerns about its board composition and corporate
culture," said Hermes' director, Jennifer Walmisley.
Earlier this week, another group, Institutional
Shareholder Services, had urged shareholders to toss out the
entire 15-member board at News Corp.'s annual general meeting
in Los Angeles on October 21.
Questions about News Corp. governance flared after one of
the company's British newspapers, the News of the World
tabloid, was shut down amid a scandal over illegal telephone
hacking and alleged bribery of UK police officers.
The scandal has claimed the resignations of several top
Murdoch executives, and several former employees have been
There was further embarrassment for New Corp. this week
by reports that the Wall Street Journal Europe had published
two articles as part of a deal with a supporter to distribute
cut-price copies to students.
Hermes, which represents about one-half of 1 percent of
News Corp. shares, said it would not vote next week for the
re-election of directors Arthur Siskind and Andrew Knight
because of concerns about their independence. Both have been
on the board since 1991.