Sky promised to engage with shareholders after a significant number opposed the re-election of James Murdoch as chairman. Murdoch survived the scare, which came from shareholders concerned about a potential conflict of interest as 21st Century Fox continues to pursue a deal for the piece of Sky it does not already own. Murdoch is CEO of Fox.Shareholders took issue with Murdoch, and with director pay at pay-TV company Sky’s AGM, which took place today, Wednesday.“The Board notes the significant vote...
James Murdoch has emerged from the shadow of his famous father as he has settled into his role as CEO of 21st Century Fox.
Since taking the helm of the media and entertainment conglomerate in July 2015 with his older brother Lachlan, Fox has expanded its investment in the National Geographic television venture and mounted another bid to acquire the remaining 60% of European satellite TV platform Sky. He implemented a reconfiguration of Fox’s Hollywood entertainment operations that included large-scale employee buyouts in 2016. And he was forced to make hard calls on key personnel to address the sexual harassment and discrimination scandals that have enveloped Fox News.
Born in London but raised in New York, Murdoch pursued an entrepreneurial path after dropping out of Harvard University in 1995. He co-founded a hip-hop record label, Rawkus Entertainment, that was eventually folded in to the family empire. From 1996-2000, Murdoch held a series of jobs focusing on digital businesses within News Corporation. He was then dispatched to run the Star TV operation serving India and other Asian markets. His success with Star earned him a promotion to running British Sky Broadcasting (now Sky) in 2003.
From there, he moved up the corporate ranks, overseeing all of Europe and Asia and eventually all of international. In 2011, his path to the top seemed to be derailed when outrage exploded in Britain over evidence that reporters for Murdoch-owned newspapers in the U.K. engaged in phone-hacking of celebrities and other newsmakers. James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch were twice forced to testify before Parliament on what they knew of the activities at the paper, and James Murdoch was forced to resign his role as head of the News International publishing division.
But Murdoch weathered the storm and was named deputy chief operating officer and co-chief operating officer in quick succession. He played a key role in the decision to split off News Corporation media and entertainment assets into the separate 21st Century Fox entity in 2013. Two years later, Rupert Murdoch ended the long speculation about his succession plans by turning over CEO duties to his second son.