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LONDON – One of News Corp.’s biggest investors says it would prefer to see president and COO Chase Carey as CEO of the conglomerate’s entertainment business after the planned separation of the publishing assets instead of Rupert Murdoch.
In announcing the split plans last week, News Corp. said Murdoch will continue to serve as chairman and CEO of the entertainment-centric company, while Carey will remain president and COO.
“In a perfect world we would have liked to see Chase Carey in the CEO role and Rupert move up to the chairman role,” Kevin Holt, a senior fund manager at Invesco, News Corp.’s third-largest shareholder told The Telegraph. “Chase Carey’s involvement in this company is very important to our ownership.”
Invesco is the conglomerate’s largest shareholder after the Murdoch family and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
Some on Wall Street have pushed for Carey, known to focus on shareholder-friendly initiatives like stock buybacks, to take over the day-to-day running of News Corp. and let Murdoch focus on the bigger-picture chairman role. Carey, who used to run DirecTV as CEO, and CFO David DeVoe internally pushed Murdoch to pursue a split of the conglomerate, according to sources.
Holt said he was happy that News Corp. decided to split off the publishing business. “Anything that could have got the publishing assets away from the rest of the media assets we would have welcomed,” he told the Telegraph, pointing to the phone hacking scandal. “Owning the publishing assets, given what happened in the U.K. last year, was always going to tie their hands strategically.”
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