Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the overseers of the Fox Corp. media conglomerate their family controls, saw their annual compensation fall for the most recent fiscal year in large part due to executives’ decision to give up salary between May and September as the company grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rupert Murdoch’s total annual compensation fell 19%, to just under $34 million in fiscal 2020, compared with about $42.2 million in fiscal 2019, according to a proxy statement filed Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lachlan Murdoch’s total annual compensation fell about 31% in fiscal 2020 to about $29.2 million from $42.1 million in the company’s fiscal 2019.
Top Fox Corp. executives volunteered to forgo base salaries for five months, while directors of the company’s non-executive board members suspended compensation increases for fiscal 2021. “These and other actions enabled the Company to preserve its dividend to stockholders notwithstanding the impact of the pandemic,” Fox said in its proxy.
Both executives were awarded significant compensation other than their base salaries. Rupert Murdoch’s pay included a base salary of $4.2 million; stock awards of $5.6 million; and options of $1,75 million. Lachlan Murdoch’s base salary came to $2.5 million, while his stock awards totaled $8.8 million and his options came to $.275 million.