Investors propose leadership split at 21st Century Fox

By Marc Castro

Oct 15, 2013 09:21 PM EDT

According to shareholder advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co., the positions of chairman and CEO concurrently held by Ruper Murdoch in 21st Centure Fox should be split. The pronouncement was issued to support an investor resolution to that effect.

The Christian Brothers Investment Services together with the British Columbia Investment Management Corp are pushing for an independent chairman for the newly created media company. Other proxy advisory firms have endored the idea, such as the Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.

The resolution to split the positions was already filed with the Fox board and would be the subject of a shareholders meeting on Oct.18. 

The reason for the resolution, according to its proponents, was the lack of independence of the company as Murdoch holds both positions in the entertainment company. The entertainment company also owns Fox Television and the film studio 21st Century Fox. 

In a statement, the two main proponents said, "Fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in the UK continues to plague the company and underscores the need for strong corporate governance guidelines including independent board leadership. Despite ethical lapses, 21st Century Fox, created as a result of News Corp.'s split in June 2013 retains Murdoch as joint chair and CEO."

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