Rupert Murdoch and his sons were reelected to News Corp.'s board of directors despite a substantial shareholder vote against them, filings with the SEC show.
On Friday, Murdoch weathered what was surely one of the most contentious annual shareholder meetings he has encountered during his decades-long tenure at the head of News Corp. Large groups of investors made clear that they are no longer satisfied with his leadership, or with his family's firm grip on the company, in the wake of the ongoing phone hacking scandal.
Murdoch's continued leadership was never in doubt; thanks to the stock structure at News Corp., he maintains enough shares to be able to overwhelm any opposition. But the size of the protest vote had been eagerly anticipated by watchers of the company. Though he pledged to release the vote totals later on Friday, News Corp. delayed the release until Monday.
The filing shows that Murdoch's sons, Lachlan and James, received the greatest share of votes against them. James, who has been deeply damaged by the hacking scandal, drew 232,013,203 no votes. Lachlan received 224,151,616 no votes. Rupert Murdoch himself received 91,798,107 no votes. That means that 35 percent of the company voted against keeping James on board; 34 percent voted against Lachlan; and 14 percent voted against Rupert. According to the Wall Street Journal, fully 75 percent of the voters who were not either in the Murdoch family or were not Prince Alwaleed, the Murdoch ally who has the second-largest share of votes, cast their vote against James and Lachlan Murdoch.
See the total vote counts in the graphic below.