James Murdoch replied to an email chain that detailed wide-spread hacking. He denies reading it. – NYTimes.com
If the issue were one of simple management accountability, he’d be gone. But my sense is that the more overriding issue isn’t James’ ability to succeed Rupert in the near term — which seems unimaginable — but the future of the founding family’s rule over News Corporation. Until the elder Murdoch is willing to relinquish that in the best interests of the company, they might well try to ride this out and hope that this is the worst of it. Unfortunately, just as these e-mails emerged only recently, one can only wonder what other documentary miseries await.”
When the scandal mushroomed this summer, I predicted that it would eventually engulf Mr. Murdoch. He has since gone to great lengths to build a ledge that would allow him to put the mess in Britain behind him as he segued back to the United States, but the dimensions of the scandal keep pulling him back in.
The governmental and criminal investigations —18 former News of the World employees have been arrested — continue to produce new evidence and new revelations. Mr. Murdoch next trip to Parliament will not be as disciplined or impressive as his last two as a practical matter. More is known, and there is far less room to maneuver.
As Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out, his approach to explaining his nonrole in hacking has already created shareholder dissension.
News Corporation shareholders in October lodged a protest vote against Rupert Murdoch, the company’s chairman and C.E.O., and his sons, following an annual meeting at which investors called for governance changes and an end to voting practices that cement the family’s control. James received the highest percentage of votes against his election to the board, at 35 percent.