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James Murdoch's future at News Corp under threat

October 25, 2011 - London

James Murdoch's future is hanging in the balance after News Corp's shareholders lodged a massive protest vote.

According to The Guardian, shareholders delivered a damning verdict on his tenure amid widespread criticism of his handling of the hacking scandal.

A majority of independent shareholders voted against the re-election of chairman Rupert Murdoch's sons James and Lachlan Murdoch.

James Murdoch received the largest vote against his re-election at 35 percent.

James, 38, faces a second grilling in the Parliament next month over phone hacking at The News of The World, one of News Corp's UK newspapers.

Some 34 percent of shareholders voted against Lachlan Murdoch 40.

After subtracting the shares controlled by Rupert Murdoch, 67 percent of the votes went against James Murdoch and 64 percent against Lachlan, said Julie Tanner, assistant director of News Corp investor Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), who last week called for Rupert Murdoch to step down as chairman after the "extraordinary scandals" at the company.

"Shareholders are saying loud and clear that this board has failed as a group," she said.

The votes are a particular embarrassment as Murdoch went into the meeting with at least 47 percent of voting shares on his side, thanks to the family's control of the company's voting shares and the support of their largest outside shareholder, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.


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