Amid concerns, company says she felt nom would be 'inappropriate'
Elisabeth Murdoch will not be joining the News Corp. any time soon.
In more fallout from the phone-hacking scandal that has enveloped News Corp.’s British newspapers, the company’s board of directors said Friday that Elisabeth Murdoch will not be nominated to join the board in October as planned following News Corp.’s acquisition of her Shine Group production-distribution company in February for $674 million.
Although it’s likely only a temporary delay, the tabling of Elisabeth Murdoch’s nomination — which had been set to be approved at News Corp.’s annual meeting in Gotham on Oct. 15 — is clearly a move to appease concerns about governance issues that have been raised for the broader company as the political scandal widened for the company in the U.K.
The Shine Group acquisition has been criticized by some as overpriced, given the assets, and driven by News Corp. supremo Rupert Murdoch’s desire to bring his daughter into the company fold and on the board. The 17-member board already includes Rupert and his two sons, James Murdoch, who heads News Corp.’s Europe and Asia operations and has been at the center of the recent controversy, and Lachlan, who does not have an exec role at News Corp. at present.
Since the Shine acquisition, Elisabeth Murdoch has continued to head her London-based Shine Group as an autonomous unit of News Corp.
In a statement issued Friday evening, News Corp. board member Viet Dinh, chairman of the board’s nominating and governance committee, said:
“Elisabeth Murdoch suggested to the independent directors some weeks ago that she felt it would be inappropriate to include her nomination to the board of News Corp. at this year’s (annual shareholders meeting), as had been announced by chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch at the time of the acquisition of Shine Group earlier this year. The independent directors agreed that the previously planned nomination should be delayed.
“Both Elisabeth and the Board hope this decision reaffirms that News Corp. aspires to the highest standards of corporate governance and will continue to act in the best interests of all stakeholders, be they shareholders, employees or the billions of consumers who News Corp. content informs, entertains and sometimes provokes every year.”