Ouch! Investors call for Rupert Murdoch to quit as Fox chairman

Rupert Murdoch is facing fresh calls to stand down as chairman of 21st Century Fox. Shareholders are also calling for his sons Lachlan and James to step down from the board of the film and television business.

Murdoch faced similar investor revolt in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, but silenced his opponents by dividing News Corporation in two, separating his newspaper business from his more profitable television and film empire.

Now, America’s Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has advised its members to vote against all the members of 21st Century Fox’s board who were previously employed as a director of Murdoch’s larger News Corp empire.

The ISS added that the directors should go because they approved a “poison pill” clause designed to prevent hostile takeovers.

“Poison pills shift the balance of power between board and shareholders,” the ISS said. It claimed this was a particular concern at a media business with a “problematic governance structure and history of poor governance,” according to The Daily Telegraph.

However, when questioned on the ISS’s analysis, a spokesman for 21st Century Fox said: “These are the very directors that have shepherded remarkable progress both in terms of bolstering shareholder value and strengthening our corporate governance and compliance policies, and we strongly support their election.”

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