Oct 5, 2017

James Murdoch faces potential investor backlash at Sky AGM

James Murdoch will face a fresh showdown with investors at Sky's annual meeting next week after shareholders were urged to vote against his re-election as chair over concerns about his independence at a pivotal time for the European pay-TV group. Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and Pirc, which advise many of the world's biggest institutions how to vote at annual meetings, called on investors to rebel over excessive pay and a lack of an independent chair at Sky at its AGM next Thursday. Mr Murdoch, who also sits on the board of News Corp, the media company set up by his father, and Tesla, the electric carmaker, took on the chairman role at Sky in 2016, five years after the phone-hacking scandal contributed to his resignation from the satellite TV operator. Twenty-First Century Fox, which is controlled by the Murdoch family, owns about 40 per cent of Sky. We remain concerned that less than a year into his tenure as chair of [Sky], 21CF, of which Mr Murdoch is CEO, has made a renewed attempt to acquire the company.

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