NewsCorp Trebles Fees for Non-Executive Directors

07 October 2003

Non-executive directors in News Corporation can look forward to a near threefold pay rise under a boardroom reorganisation.

The Murdoch empire has revealed that – subject to shareholder approval – the total annual fees distributed among the eight non-executive board members will jump to $1.2 million (€1.0m; £0.7m) from the current $450,000. Beneficiaries include British Airways ceo Rod Eddington, BHP Steel chairman Graham Kraehe and former Philip Morris chief Geoffrey Bible.

New corporate governance guidelines have prompted a shake-up of NewsCorp's boardroom committees, which will now consist solely of non-executive directors. As a result, these board members – whose payments have been capped around their current level since 1998 – will be paid more.

"The increase in fees payable to non-executive directors is necessary to attract qualified individuals … and to compensate them for the additional time spent to ensure compliance by the company with the new corporate governance regulations," the media mammoth told shareholders.

Non-executive directors will probably still be given share options (each one received 12,000 last fiscal year). In addition, NewsCorp will seek shareholder support for a handout of 3.15m options to executive directors, including Rupert Murdoch, his sons James and Lachlan, and chief operating officer Peter Chernin.

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