Investors in 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), excluding chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and his family, have voted to separate the roles of chairman and CEO of the company by a 2-to-1 margin, as it’s believed the Murdochs have too much control over the company. According to a regulatory filing seen by Bloomberg, shareholders representing 147 million Class B shares in the company have voted for having an independent chairman at the company’s annual meeting last week.
There were 361.7 million votes against the split, but 280 million of those came from Murdoch and his family. The tally suggests that Fox will continue to come under pressure from investors to split the roles.
“The level of family control — Mr. Murdoch owns 40 percent of voting shares — and the dual-class share structure which denies voting rights to Class A shareholders, were engineered to keep power in the hands of Mr. Murdoch,” said Julie Tanner of Christian Brothers Investment Services, Bloomberg reports. “While it is virtually impossible for a shareholder resolution to ‘pass,’ a high vote result should send a clear signal to the board that change is needed.”