The Financial Times reflects on the recent proxy battle over control of News Corp (parent company of Fox News) and calls for Murdoch to realize that it may be time for the elder Murdoch to change course in the legacy he will leave. His sons, they argue, aren’t really up to the task and it’s frustrating that Murdoch doesn’t recognize this.
From an editorial in today’s FT, the call is clear.
In the end, Lachlan and James Murdoch [Murdoch’s sons who are the anointed heirs of the News Corp dynasty] (whose remit includes the UK newspaper unit at the centre of the hacking scandal) were re-appointed. But this was only because of the support of the core shareholder bloc that comprises Mr Murdoch’s 38 per cent stake, and the 7 per cent held by his ally, the Saudi prince, Alwaleed bin Talal. A majority of non-aligned holders voted against both sons.
However, as Mr Murdoch nears the end of an extraordinary career, his determination to secure his dynasty is grating. News Corp has become a complex business and investors are not persuaded that his children are the best people to take over when he retires. Attempts to push them forward are seen as counterproductive, alienating talented managers who would otherwise rise to the top. One such figure, Peter Chernin, quit as chief operating officer a few years ago. Investors worry that his successor, Chase Carey, might ultimately follow suit.