Monday, 5 March 2012

Union shareholder activists push for James Murdoch removal from boards

The US unions have been doing a rather heroic job in response to the hacking scandal, and are involved in moves by US investors to seek James Murdoch's removal from several boards. Obviously News Corp and BSkyB have seen the most focus, but he also sat (until recently) on the GSK board, and still sits on the Sotheby's board. Info below...

CtW Investment Group Demands James Murdoch's Removal From News Corp. and Sotheby's Boards

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CONTACT: Michael Pryce-Jones, (202) 262-7437

Cites Sotheby's Own Governance Policy in Calling for Action

Washington, D.C. – In light of today’s announcement that James Murdoch resigned as Executive Chairman of News International, the CtW Investment Group renewed its call for Murdoch to step down, not only from the board of News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA), but also from his other directorship at Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID). The Group states continued service as a corporate director of any company is untenable given the serious concerns raised over Mr. Murdoch’s judgment, oversight and conduct at News Corp., and that this should not go unheeded by the other boards on which he serves.

In a letter to Sotheby’s Chairman Michael Sovern, the CtW Investment Group cites Sotheby’s own governance policy in calling for Murdoch’s removal, which states that any director whose principal occupation has changed is required to tender a resignation.

“Retaining Murdoch on the board would be a clear violation of Sotheby’s own governance policy,” said CtW Senior Policy Analyst Michael Pryce-Jones.
“It is incredible that the board would conclude, given Murdoch’s incompetent handling of the scandal at News International, that he possesses the ‘high ethical standards, integrity and sound business judgment’ that Sotheby’s demands of its own members.”

The CtW Investment Group works with pension and benefit funds sponsored by unions affiliated with Change to Win, which collectively hold over $200 billion in assets.

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