AIB Featured Business Leader – Rupert Murdoch

AIB Featured Business Leader – Rupert Murdoch


As one of the world’s savviest and recognised businessmen, Rupert Murdoch’s career is certainly one to be admired. Born in Victoria in 1931, the Australian media magnate is best known for his extreme growth of News Corporation. As the Chairman and CEO of the conglomerate until 2013, Murdoch grew the company from the ownership of several Australian newspapers in 1952, to over 600 companies at present. Inheriting the company from his late father, Murdoch began to grow it within Australia by acquiring several other newspapers. From there he tackled the New Zealand market, before expanding into the United Kingdom in 1969.

In 1974 he expanded further by moving to New York in order to pursue the American market. This move certainly paid off with high-value purchases such as The Times and a number of other big-name US newspapers. It was when News Corporation acquired 21st Century Fox in 1985 that the real fun began – profit was at a high and extreme growth was on the cards. In the year 2000, the acquired companies spanned over 50 countries around the world and had a net worth of over $5 billion. The question is however, how did Rupert Murdoch achieve such profound success? In a number of interviews and write-ups, Murdoch’s leadership style and approach to business has been discussed widely.

Despite being more senior than many of his counterparts, Murdoch has maintained a fantastic up-to-date focus throughout his career. It appears he was always one step ahead, and as Despreneur reports, he once said “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow”. This quote alone teaches us as businesspeople the importance of staying ahead of the game. It is critical that you keep up to date with industry trends, attend events and try to understand what is coming next. Like Murdoch argued – it’s not about the size of the corporation, its who gets to the idea first.

Rupert Murdoch’s approach to managing staff has also been admired, with him once stating that “In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts”. Throughout his career he recognised the importance of making employees feel valued and engaged at all times. It wasn’t just about acquiring other organisations for Murdoch – he wanted his already acquired businesses to thrive and continually feel engaged.

As the current Executive Chairman of News Corporation, and the Chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, it is clear that Murdoch has had a rather remarkable career in business. Whilst it is not every day that you inherit a media company, Murdoch has well and truly proved his worth in expanding it to the second largest media conglomerate in the world. As Forbes’ 91st richest person in the world in 2013 I certainly admire his career, but I am interested to hear what you think. Is Rupert Murdoch a businessman that you admire? What components of his career do you find most interesting? Please feel free to comment below and share your views.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to complete this article: WikipediaDespreneur and Leadership Now.

Image credit: Business Week

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