Although all members were re-elected to News Corporation's board of directors Friday, many directors received substantial numbers of no votes.
While 433 million votes were cast to re-elect James Murdoch to the board of directors, 232 million were cast against him, according to SEC filings. His brother, Lachlan, received 440 million votes in favor of re-election, although 232 million were cast against him.
Other directors receiving over 200 million no votes were Natalie Bancroft, Andrew Knight and Arthur Siskind.
Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch received 562 million votes for re-election and 92 million against.
Before the meeting, numerous shareholder groups urged investors to withdraw their support for board members. Some groups, such as ISS, called for a near-complete overhaul of the board, while others, such as Glass Lewis, called for the removal of about half of the directors. A lot of the concerns stemmed from the board's response to the News of the World hacking scandal, as some investors accused the board of less-than-rigorous oversight.
Furthermore, an advisory vote on executive compensation passed, however many people voted against the plan (433 million to 232 million). Many shareholders were upset with Rupert Murdoch's $33.2 million compensation in 2011 in spite of the hacking scandal. Many shareholders also expressed frustration that Rupert Murdoch made $8.1 million in base pay since the remuneration isn't tied to performance.
A proposal from Christian Brothers Investment Services to split up the role between chairman and CEO was defeated handily, with 1,517,604 votes in favor of the proposal compared to 680,583,000 votes against.
The outcomes of all the votes were never in doubt. The Murdoch family controls nearly 40 percent of the voting shares and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who has publicly supported both the board and the management, controls seven percent of the shares.
Shares of News Corp. closed at $17.40.
Write to Samuel Weigley at email@example.com.