James Murdoch appointed non-executive director at BSkyB

LONDON: Rupert Murdoch has strengthened the Murdoch family presence on the board of BSkyB by appointing his son non executive director.

30 year old James Murdoch is already a board member at News Corp., which owns 36 per cent of BSkyB, UK's largest pay TV broadcaster. James is also chairman and chief executive of Star TV, News Corp's Asian pay TV service and his father's bridgehead into the potentially lucrative Chinese broadcasting market.

Media reports say the induction of James has resulted in the departure of Leslie Hinton, the executive chairman of Mr Murdoch's News International newspapers, which include the Sun and the Times, from the BSkyB board. It may, reports indicate, infuriate BSkyB investors, a large group of which had voted against re-electing five non executives at last year's annunal general meeting, in protest against the lack of genuine independent directors.

Martin Pompadur, head of News Corp's European operations, has also quit the BSkyB board, say reports. Among fresh appointments to the BSkyB board announced today are Chase Carey, a non-executive director at News Corporation, and Lord Wilson of Ditton, former head of the home civil service.

Nine of the 16 board members of BSkyB are now independent non-executive directors.

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