Today the New York Times examines the strained relationship between Rupert Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, and sadly, it plays out like an episode of “Family Feud:” Name something that is bad for a company. A scandal that never goes away! Fighting between the founder of the company and its heir apparent! Rifts between board members!
It’s all there. According to the Times, the phone hacking scandal is just the latest source of tension between Rupert and James. When Rupert named James the head of News Corp. in Europe and Asia, he proceeded to make some questionable moves, which lead to a scolding:
Early this year, this perception of the company as having two head offices became a more pressing issue, and his father gave James the ultimatum to return to New York or leave the company altogether.
‘This is one company, not two,’ Rupert told James, according to one person told of the exchange. ‘And it is run out of New York.’
James still hasn’t moved back here, and now that he is taking intense heat from the phone hacking scandal, some top executives at News Corp. are expecting that James will voluntarily depart the company.
In the end, only Rupert knows where all of this infighting and scandal will leave James. We imagine that he will end up — either voluntarily or not — leaving News Corp. at some point. But we wouldn’t be surprised if years down the line he reappears. The Murdoch episode of “Family Feud” is ongoing.