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Sotheby's Axes James Murdoch From Board - ArtLyst Article image

Sotheby's Axes James Murdoch From Board

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Newspaper Executive Considered A Liability For Auction Giant

It seems no self-respecting multinational wants James Murdoch sitting on their board of directors. The disgraced News Corp executive is considered too much of a liability for his role in the UK's highest profile news paper, phone hacking scandal. On Friday Sotheby's announced that he was to step down from the board of directors at the auction giant, which has been a US based registered company for a number of years. In a public document submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sotheby's stated that Murdoch had decided not to stand for re-election at the annual meeting held on May 8. Sotheby's appointed Mr. Murdoch in May 2010. Richard Clayton, the director of research at CtW Investment Group,a powerful corporate  insider, wrote to Michael I. Sovern, the chairman of Sotheby’s Holdings exclaiming; “If Sotheby’s chooses to re-nominate Murdoch at the upcoming annual meeting, we will oppose this election and urge other shareholders to vote likewise.” Murdoch officially stated that he was relinquishing the directorship so that he could focus on his role as News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer. Last January he also resigned his directorship from the British multinational pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC by not seeking re-election to the board.

Murdoch has repeatedly denied any knowledge of a culture of widespread phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid. Although his statements made at the Leveson inquiry have been contradicted by numerous work-related associates, on several occasions. His input is highly anticipated in the upcoming review of phone hacking evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service. In a letter this week to House of Commons culture, media and sport committee , Murdoch stated that he could have done more to get to grips with wrongdoing at the newspaper, but insisted he had been misled and given "false assurances" by subordinates. Murdoch has now stated that he had not misled parliament. Last week the U.K. Parliament’s Culture Committee revealed that Murdoch has 'Real Regret' over his circumstances, “I could have asked more questions, requested more documents and taken a more challenging and skeptical view of what I was told,” “In this case, the approach fell short. But it is important to note that I did not turn a blind eye.” His father Rupert pulled the plug on the News of the World in July but has relaunched a Phoenix replacement titled the 'Sun On Sunday'

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