Murdoch Wins: Shareholder Proposals Rejected
News Corp. 's annual shareholder meeting delivered another win for the Murdoch family, despite growing investor opposition to the family's control over the company.
All of the proposed directors were elected to the board, including Rupert Murdoch's sons Lachlan and James. Going into the meeting it was clear that the Murdochs wouldn't be forced to make changes because of their controlling votes, but many investors were hoping they'd bow to pressure for change. (Read More: News Corp. Braces for Backlash at Shareholder Meeting.)
Every motion opposing Murdoch's control was rejected. A campaign to separate the chairman and CEO role — both of which Rupert Murdoch currently holds — was unsuccessful. A number of investors criticized Murdoch on this point, including Julie Tanner, director of socially responsible investing at Christian Brothers Investment Services, who said the combined role creates a "conflict of interest."
Murdoch noted that a single chair-CEO structure is normal, saying that the company reviews its leadership structure annually. The company said that combining chairman and CEO roles ensures "strong and consistent leadership" of the company.
A motion to eliminate the company's two-tier voting structure was also unsuccessful. This structure perpetuates Murdoch control, since the family owns 12 percent of shares but controls 40 percent of the votes.
And the proposed compensation plan was approved. A representative from the California State Teachers' Retirement System urged that the dual-class structure be eliminated, but Murdoch argued that "the interests of the Murdoch family as a shareholder is the same as all shareholders."
Murdoch kicked off the meeting saying that News Corp. is "not a conventional company."
He addressed the phone hacking scandal, which he called the "mishaps" and "problems" at the U.K. papers, stressing that the company has implemented all sorts of new oversight and training. He focused on the strong performance of the stock — up some 45 percent since last year's meeting. (Read More: News Corp. Cuts Murdoch's Bonus, Citing Scandal.)
The company didn't reveal the breakdown of the votes, just saying that a "majority" had approved or rejected the proposals. We'll get an exact breakdown of the numbers — and the degree of shareholder opposition — when News Corp. files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which should happen soon.
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin
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