James Murdoch appears to be taking the high road come payday. On Friday afternoon, the News Corp. executive—son of media titan Rupert Murdoch—turned down his annual bonus only hours after the company disclosed via proxy statement that he would receive a $6 million bonus for the 2011 fiscal year.
In a statement released by News Corp., the younger Murdoch said: “In light of the current controversy surrounding News of the World, I have declined the bonus that the company chose to award to me. While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do. I will consult with the Compensation Committee in the future about whether any bonus may be appropriate at a later date.”
This decision shouldn’t cause James Murdoch too much financial pain: He will still get almost $12 million in total compensation, or about $1 million more than he made in 2010, when he took his bonus.
Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch has stayed silent regarding his $12.5 million annual bonus, which was also disclosed on Friday morning. The elder Murdoch's total compensation package for 2011 is $33 million—up 47 percent from 2010.