News Corp. backed its embattled leader Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday, issuing a unanimous statement of support after a British parliamentary report dubbed him "not a fit person" to lead a
major international company.
"The Board of Directors of News Corporation met today and announced its full confidence in Rupert Murdoch's fitness and support for his continuing to lead News Corporation into the future as its Chairman and CEO," the statement read in part.
The report set off a seismic reaction. It also accused Murdoch of "willful blindness" in his handling of the phone hacking scandal, and said that he was responsible for the company's faulty corporate response. But the sections about Murdoch divided the committee along partisan lines, with all Conservative members of the panel voting not to include them.
Though Murdoch himself adopted a contrite tone in response to the findings, telling his employees that they were "difficult to read" and that he is "working hard to put things right," News Corp. as a whole has reacted aggressively to the report. A statement on Tuesday called it "unjustified and highly partisan."
The emphasis on Murdoch's "fitness" could also be seen as part of News Corp.'s attempt to head off any trouble regarding the satellite broadcaster BSkyB. British media regulator Ofcom has been reviewing whether or not Sky is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting license in the country.
"The Board based its vote of confidence on Rupert Murdoch's vision and leadership in building News Corporation, his ongoing performance as Chairman and CEO, and his demonstrated resolve to address the mistakes of the Company identified in the Select Committee's report," the statement finished.