It may seem incongruous given that most of the headlines lately about News Corp. and its chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, have cast the company and its leader in a negative light, but Murdoch has been given a huge pay hike, Multichannel News reports.
Murdoch’s pay for fiscal 2011 was $33.3 million, a 47% increase over the $22.7 million he received in the previous fiscal year, the story reports.
The company also announced that it’s shuffling its board of directors.
According to the story: “News said that directors Kenneth Cowley and Thomas Perkins have stepped down and that venture capitalist and Accel Partners executive James Breyer has been nominated to the board. No reason was given for Cowley’s and Perkins’ departure, which will become effective at News Corp.’s annual meeting of shareholders, scheduled for Oct. 21 in Los Angeles.”
The latest news follows a period in which News Corp. and Murdoch have been hit with a series of unpleasant revelations related to a phone-hacking scandal at the company’s now-defunct News of the World newspaper in the U.K. The scandal forced the company to drop a bid to acquire satellite firm British Sky Broadcasting and led the the departures of a number of executives, along with some arrests.
Murdoch’s base salary of $8.1 million remained the same in fiscal 2011, but his stock compensation grew from $4.1 million to $8.5 million. He also received a $12.5 million bonus after receiving no bonuses in the previous two cycles, the story reports.
Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, who has also been a frequent player in the unfolding hacking scandal, saw his compensation rise by an even greater percentage, 74%, from $10.3 million in fiscal 2010 to $17.9 million in fiscal 2011.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, James Murdoch turned down a $6 million bonus that was part of that total, leaving him with compensation of $11.9 million for fiscal 2011.
THR quotes a statement from James Murdoch in which he says: "In light of the current controversy surrounding News of the World, I have declined the bonus that the company chose to award to me. While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do. I will consult with the Compensation Committee in the future about whether any bonus may be appropriate at a later date."