Murdoch Junior Yet to Agree BSkyB Contract

10 February 2004

More than three months after he was named ceo of UK satellite-TV giant BSkyB, James Murdoch is still to ink a contract.

Murdoch -- the 31-year-old younger son of BSkyB executive chairman Rupert -- was handed the position in early November, prompting accusations of nepotism [WAMN: 04-Nov-03]. However, he has declined to put pen to paper while a review into the company's executive pay practices is undertaken.

This pay probe was launched last year under non-executive directors John Thornton (former president of Goldman Sachs) and Jac Nasser (ex-ceo of Ford Motor Company). The satellite firm's board is due to discuss the matter shortly, and is expected to approve the appointment of external remuneration consultants.

Murdoch senior ordered the review after shareholder unrest over the bonuses paid to top executives. Previous ceo Tony Ball was guaranteed a bonus of at least £500,000 ($929,475; €731,215) a year, and left the company with a £10 million payoff.

BSkyB insists Murdoch junior's failure to sign a contract does not reflect disagreement over his pay. "There is nothing sinister behind this," the company insisted.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff