BSkyB CEO: The Idea We’re Not Fit Or Proper Is Laughable

After presenting a strong set of results to investment analysts, BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) CEO Jeremy Darroch faced a difficult final question from one who suggested a UK test on whether, in the wake of News Corp.’s phone “hacking” scandal, BSkyB’s ownership is “fit and proper” to own a broadcasting license “could represent a significant risk to your business”…

“I completely and strongly refute any suggestion from anyone that we are not a fit and proper business,” Darroch retorted. “Frankly, I think it’s laughable that we’re not.

“We have got strong independent governors of Sky. Independent directors have a majority of the board. That has been robustly tested over the last 12 months. It’s self-evidently worked.

“We are a fit and proper people to hold a broadcast license. it will stand up well to the scrutiny.

“Of course, as a board, we have to pay close attention to that.”

BSkyB chairman James Murdoch, who has got his hands dirty for News Corp in the phone “hacking” scandal, says he is “grateful to Nick Ferguson for his contribution as Deputy Chairman during the last year and I am pleased that he has agreed to continue in that role”.

The company says: “All directors will stand annually for re-election at the AGM in line with best practice … The Board is putting in place an orderly programme for replacing members of the Board of Directors as they retire.”

Sky has hiked its dividend payment to shareholders, is buying back £750 ($1223.82) million in shares and earnings per share have jumped by 30 percent.