Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch Getty Images

Watchdog says Murdochs must go

RUPERT Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan should be kicked off the News Corp board along with 10 other directors when shareholders vote at this year's annual general meeting, a corporate governance watchdog says.

The phone hacking scandal at News Corp's UK weekly tabloid paper News of the World has rocked the entire company since it erupted in July.

ISS said the scandal has "laid bare a striking lack of stewardship and failure of independence."

The board had been unable to set a "strong tone-at-the-top" about unethical business practices, ISS said overnight.

ISS is a proxy firm that advises some of the largest institutional investors in the United States on shareholder votes.

The statement was particularly critical of the board's decision to approve a 180 per cent increase in chief executive Rupert Murdoch's cash bonus to $US12.5 million in the fiscal year to June 2011 soon after the phone hacking fallout began.

Rupert Murdoch controls the company through a 40 per cent stake in the company's voting stock.

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