Key investors give backing to re-elect Murdoch as BSkyB chair
Published 17/11/2011 | 05:00
WITH mounting pressure growing on British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc chairman James Murdoch (above) over the phone-hacking scandal, key shareholders have rowed in behind the beleaguered company chief.
Although some advisory groups have called for his resignation in the run up to a vote on Mr Murdoch's position at the annual general meeting, most shareholders understand "the huge contribution James has made" according to Jeremy Darroch, the company's chief executive.
Mr Murdoch was given an intensive grilling by MPs last week for a second time as damning hacking and bribery allegations rocked the local unit of News Corp, which owns 39pc of BSkyB.
Mr Murdoch, who's also News Corp's deputy chief operating officer, has come under pressure because he failed to look into allegations in 2009 when the 'Guardian' newspaper reported that the 'News of the World' hacked into the phones of celebrities and politicians; or in 2010, when lawmakers raised questions. His failure to act triggered a scandal that engulfed News Corp and thwarted a £7.8bn (€9.1bn) bid to buy all of BSkyB.
Mr Murdoch will face BSkyB investors at the AGM on November 29.
BSkyB's board backed Mr Murdoch on November 11 and the company's senior independent director Nicholas Ferguson said Mr Murdoch's handling of the scandal at News Corp had "no effect on sales, customers or suppliers over the last five months."