Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of Fox Corporation, has endorsed former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to join the company's board of directors. The announcement comes a single day after Rupert Murdoch announced his retirement from News Corp, with the nomination being met with mixed reactions.
Mr. Abbott is a well-known and experienced politician. He served as Prime Minister of Australia from 2013 to 2015 and as Leader of the Liberal Party from 2009 to 2015. He is currently an advisor to the UK Board of Trade. Mr. Abbott has also been described as a controversial figure, known for his contrasting views on climate change.
The nomination will be considered by shareholders at the media giant’s annual meeting in November, a media statement released on Friday (Saturday AEST) confirmed. Nominated alongside Mr. Abbott was technology executive Peggy Johnson.
In a statement, Mr. Murdoch welcomed both Mr. Abbott and Ms. Johnson’s nominations to the board citing their breadth of experience:
“I welcome Peggy Johnson and Tony Abbott’s nominations to the board…They bring skills, experience and perspectives that will contribute to the Board and benefit Fox.”
Professor Chris Wallace, of the University of Canberra’s School of Politics, Economics and Society stated that Mr. Abbott’s endorsement:
“...shows Lachlan doubling down on News [Corp’s] right-wing crusading when the costly lessons of recent and ongoing litigation suggest that’s not smart…This confirms fears that decisions under the Lachlan Murdoch-helmed News Corp will be at least as noxiously right-wing as under Rupert - and possibly worse. For shareholders it’s a worry.”