Pressure on Murdoch mounts ahead of News Corp meeting

RUPERT Murdoch is facing increasing pressure to split his role as chief executive and chairman of News Corp ahead of the media giant’s annual meeting tomorrow, with several investors set to vote for Murdoch to step down from one or both roles.

Shareholder advisory body Pirc joined calls for a division of powers at News Corp last week after several heavyweight investors voiced their opposition over the summer. Reports yesterday claimed that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System were also set to vote against Murdoch’s re-election.

Despite increasing numbers of shareholders voicing their concern, Murdoch is unlikely to be defeated. His family owns around 40 per cent of the voting power, despite holding 12.5 per cent of the value of the firm, due to News Corp’s dual-class share structure.

Murdoch did not seem overly concerned about being thrown out last week. He wrote on Twitter on Thursday: “Signs pretty peaceful, but any shareholders with complaints should take profits and sell!”