Shareholders showed their displeasure with News Corp., executive James Murdoch's handling of the ongoing phone hacking scandal with their ballots, with 35% of shares submitted in last Friday's annual meeting of shareholders voting against his re-election to the media giant's board of directors.
According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday, James Murdoch received 433 million votes for his re-election, 232 million votes against and 494,831 votes abstained. There were 16.6 million broker non-votes.
News Corp. had said earlier that all of its directors were elected at the annual meeting, but did not give the actual vote tally. While James Murdoch's seat on the board is secure, some analysts had said a negative tally of more than 25% would be a solid vote of no-confidence for any director.
James's father, chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch fared much better, receiving 561.7 million votes "for," 91.8 million votes "against" and 12.1 million votes abstained, for a 14% negative tally.
Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert's son and a former executive at News Corp., received 440.9 million votes for, 224.2 million against and 477,972 abstained, for a 34% negative tally.
A handful of the remaining directors received negative votes in excess of 20% of those tallied, including chief financial officer David DeVoe (150.6 million against and 1.1 million abstained, or 22%); Arthur Siskind (200.1 million against and 1.1 million abstained, or 30%); Andrew S.B. Knight (214 million against and 1.1 million abstained, or 32%) and Natalie Bancroft (222.2 million against, 1.1 million abstained, or 33%).
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