James Murdoch is “likely” to remain head of British Sky Broadcasting after gaining the support of the company’s key independent director, Nick Ferguson, reports the Guardian. Murdoch’s future at the company has been shaky due to his ties to the News of the World hacking scandal, with some people suggesting that he should step down as chairman.
BSkyB deputy chairman Ferguson reportedly said that he would back Murdoch after a “long conversation” in a private meeting. Ferguson, who acts as the intermediary between BSkyB shareholders and its chairman, also spoke with top investors following News Corp.’s decision to drop its bid for the company, says the Guardian, and the board is now “understood to be satisfied that there is support” for Murdoch despite the hacking issue.
Some board members decided to back Murdoch based on his successful tenure as BSkyB CEO before he left to head News International in 2009, as well as his continued good relationship with current CEO Jeremy Darroch.
BSkyB’s board is set to meet on Tuesday ahead of the company’s annual results, which will be released on Wednesday. Directors are expected to consider a return to investors either through a share buyback—estimated to be as much as £2 billion by 2013—or a special dividend, says the Guardian.