Murdoch re-elected Twenty-First Century Fox chairman

Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:34pm EDT
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By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was re-elected chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc despite protests from shareholder groups who sought to separate the chairman and chief executive positions of the family-dominated company.

Shareholders elected the 82-year-old CEO, his two sons, Lachlan and James, and the rest of the company's 12-person board during the meeting on Friday at the Fox studio lot in Los Angeles.

Shareholders Christian Brothers Investment Services and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation in Canada unsuccessfully proposed the appointment of an independent chair of the company, citing "the level of family control, and the influence this may bring to the impending reorganization."

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended shareholders vote against Murdoch and eight other directors including his sons, saying the company should have put its poison pill plan to a shareholder vote.

News Corp announced the poison pill provision in May before Murdoch split News Corp into two companies, with News Corp retaining the newspaper and other media assets and Twenty-First Century Fox holding the movie, TV and other entertainment properties. The poison pill would be triggered to prevent a hostile takeover if a buyer acquired 15 percent or more of either company.

"Our new company deserves a fresh start" Timothy Schaler, an investor adviser for Christian Brothers, said at the meeting. "For the board to ignore such a mandate shows disregard for corporate governance."

In addition to its recommendations to vote against the Murdochs, the ISS proxy advisory firm recommended a rejection of

Twenty-First Century Fox president Chase Carey and board members David DeVoe, Roderick Eddington, James Breyer, Viet Dinh and Alvaro Uribe.   Continued...

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. and 21st Century Fox CEO, arrives at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking