Last updated: August 8, 2011 - 8:17am
News Corp’s independent directors, obligated to assess Rupert Murdoch and other top executives’ handling of the company’s phone-hacking scandal, are relying for guidance on Viet Dinh, a board member with personal ties to the Murdoch family.
Dinh, 43, is point man between the independent board members and a panel that New York-based News Corp created to cooperate with authorities probing phone hacking by the defunct News of the World tabloid and to evaluate company standards. A Washington attorney and Georgetown University Law Center professor, Dinh has been a friend of Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch’s oldest son Lachlan since 2003 and is godfather to Lachlan’s second child. In 1992, a decade before they met, the South China Morning Post, then owned by Murdoch, helped Dinh free his sister from a Hong Kong refugee camp.
“Usually it’s required that an investigation like this is undertaken by a committee of independent directors,” said Jay Lorsch, a Harvard Business School professor who has served on the boards of four publicly traded companies. “It’s very hard to be objective if you’re involved in any way -- financially or emotionally -- with the family of the chief executive you are supposed to be supervising.”
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