Double duties earn Murdoch pay rise
The split of News Corporation will come with its benefits for Rupert Murdoch, who will receive a 15 per cent pay rise.
Mr Murdoch's remuneration will jump close to $US4 million to $US28.3 million.
In June, News Corp will break up into two separate companies, with "new News Corp" holding publishing assets, including Australia, and 21st Century Fox holding the company's more successful film and television assets.
Mr Murdoch will remain chairman and chief executive of 21st Century Fox and executive chairman of the new News Corp.
In a filing to the US Securities Exchange Commission, News Corp justified the increase as "appropriate given Mr Murdoch's responsibilities associated with two public companies".
While Mr Murdoch's base salary and target bonus across both entities will remain at $US20.6 million, his long-term incentives will jump from $US4 million to $US7.7 million.
News Corp said the increase in performance-based, long-term incentives would align Mr Murdoch's remuneration with the interests of shareholders.
By comparison, incoming BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie will earn a maximum of $12.2 million, including incentives. Since officially confirming it was considering a restructure in late June last year, News Corp shares have jumped 42.1 per cent to $31.20.
Mr Murdoch's pay rise comes after $US347 million in legal fees and settlements relating to the phone hacking scandal at its now defunct British newspaper, News of the World.
At the company's annual general meeting last October, Mr Murdoch, 82, saw off moves from dissident shareholders, including Australian pension fund First Super, to remove him as chairman. Before the meeting, he was on the front foot, taking to Twitter to vent at seemingly angry investors.
"Busy preparing for next week's company AGM. Signs pretty peaceful, but any shareholders with complaints should take profits and sell!" he said. The majority of independent shareholders voted for the separation of Mr Murdoch's dual role as chief executive and chairman but the Murdoch family, controlling nearly 40 per cent of voting shares, easily swept the move aside.
"I'm not surprised by much that happens at News Corporation. They've always been very upfront. It's Rupert Murdoch's show, he's executive chairman, he's the largest voting shareholder and they've never really disguised that fact," said Martin Lawrence, research director at governance advisers Ownership Matters.
"You know that as a shareholder you have little capacity to change it unless the Murdoch family decides to sell down its voting stake. It's always been very transparent what the rules are going in."
The jump in Rupert Murdoch's salary
His new remuneration
fees and settlements relating to the phone hacking scandal at News Corp's now defunct UK newspaper, News of the World.
Figures in US dollars.