Sky chair James Murdoch survives re-election scare and gets majority shareholder support

 
Oliver Gill
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James Murdoch is the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, currently a 39 per cent shareholder in Sky (Source: Getty)

James Murdoch has clung on to his job as Sky's chairman, despite a sizeable challenge from shareholders at the media behemoth's AGM today.

While the son of media mogul Rupert was supported by the majority of Sky shareholders, some 22 per cent of shareholders voted against Murdoch retaining his post.

With 21st Century Fox owning 39 per cent of Sky's stock, this indicates more than one-third of those investors independent of the US firm voted against Murdoch's re-election

Meanwhile, almost a half of non-21st Century Fox shareholders (29 per cent of 61 per cent) voted against chunky uplifts in executive pay.

Read more: Game of Thrones helps boost Sky customer numbers by 51 per cent

Inappropriate

Last Friday, Royal London was the first major shareholder to break ranks from its asset manager counterparts, calling James Murdoch's position as Sky chair "inappropriate".

Royal London also voiced concerns about executive remuneration, saying its basis had "the potential to deliver unacceptably high levels of pay".

Meanwhile, Pirc, ISS and Glass Lewis, which advise institutional investors on how to vote, had also called on shareholders to vote against Sky exec pay packets and questioned the independence of Murdoch and fellow 21st Century Fox board member – and the boss of Formula One – Chase Carey.

Read more: Sky head honchos look to head off shareholder disquiet

How did shareholders vote?

Motion

Votes for

%

Votes against

%

To receive the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2017, together with the reports of the Directors and Auditors

1,169,927,205

99.77

2,745,132

0.23

To approve the Directors' Remuneration Policy contained in the Directors' Remuneration Report

1,099,069,186

93.76

73,113,237

6.24

To approve the Directors' Remuneration Report (excluding the Directors' Remuneration Policy)

833,056,357

70.99

340,399,243

29.01

To reappoint Jeremy Darroch as a Director

1,157,406,503

98.69

15,314,781

1.31

To reappoint Andrew Griffith as a Director

1,168,114,681

99.61

4,603,797

0.39

To reappoint Tracy Clarke as a Director

1,063,483,168

90.69

109,232,824

9.31

To reappoint Martin Gilbert as a Director

1,012,731,305

93.41

71,462,753

6.59

To reappoint Adine Grate as a Director

1,106,836,930

94.38

65,881,089

5.62

To reappoint Matthieu Pigasse as a Director

1,107,699,412

94.60

63,236,725

5.40

To reappoint Andy Sukawaty as a Director

1,095,946,261

93.46

76,711,515

6.54

To appoint Katrin Wehr-Seiter as a Director

1,170,860,839

99.84

1,858,235

0.16

To reappoint James Murdoch as a Director

913,584,535

78.04

257,044,436

21.96

To reappoint Chase Carey as a Director

1,163,246,865

99.19

9,472,866

0.81

To reappoint John Nallen as a Director

1,163,570,259

99.22

9,143,083

0.78

To reappoint Deloitte LLP as Auditors of the Company and to authorise the Audit Committee of the Board to agree their remuneration

1,127,955,959

96.18

44,760,733

3.82

To authorise the Company and its subsidiaries to make political donations and incur political expenditure

1,162,728,371

99.47

6,185,117

0.53

To authorise the Directors to allot shares under Section 551 of the Companies Act 2006

1,164,201,465

99.27

8,508,029

0.73

To authorise the Directors to disapply pre-emption rights (Special Resolution)

1,165,622,176

99.50

5,895,764

0.50

To authorise the Directors to disapply pre-emption rights for the purposes of acquisitions or capital investments (Special Resolution)

1,165,403,705

99.48

6,116,600

0.52

To allow the Company to hold general meetings (other than annual general meetings) on 14 days' notice (Special Resolution)

1,139,939,999

97.20

32,786,798

2.80

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