News Corp today walked away from its bid to buy out all shares in UK broadcaster BSkyB (NYSE: BSY), but one of its most senior executives will continue to have a role there. Sources at BSkyB say that James Murdoch, the co-COO of News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). will stay on as chairman and non-executive director of the pay-TV broadcaster.
According to the governance framework, the board is satisfied of the existing arrangements, the source told paidContent.
If the situation were to change, the board would reconsider that position, but as of today, and in light of today’s events — which saw a heated debate in the House of Commons as MPs rallied around a motion to quash the bid outright if News Corp did not retreat itself — the view of the board is that James Murdoch will stay in place as chair.
In other words, there are still more investigations to come, and a possible appearance for Murdoch himself in front of MPs, which could once again bring his position as chair into question.
But it’s important to remember, too, that despite all of the problems James Murdoch and other executives are facing concerning allegations over phone hacking and much more at newspaper publishing division News International, Murdoch is still widely credited, inside and outside the organization, for his time as the CEO of BSkyB.
This could be one of the greatest tests yet for “fit and proper” governance in the UK.