It’s not always a simple ride to the top, as Rupert Murdoch’s 38-year-old son James is finding. Widely touted to be News Corp.’s next chief executive, James has been buffeted as much as his father by the phone-hacking scandal that has so far forced them to shut down one profitable newspaper, table a key multibillion-dollar acquisition, and agree to be grilled by Britain’s parliament. If James is able to weather the storm, he will have earned the top job. The Murdoch family has proven especially resilient in the past and may do so again. The question is whether James is a chip off the old block—and whether that will be a good thing in the future.
CEOs have to prove diligence and show results regardless of their last name. It’s not unusual for family-owned businesses to pass along to family members, although at larger companies, the handoff to a family member can become more difficult. Shareholders and other stakeholders, such as employees, are more likely to question whether or not nepotism should help define the future of a company. In many cases, a favorite son or daughter will expand the company. In other cases, they may drive it into the ground.
Some of the largest companies in the world, even those that are publicly traded, sometimes stay in family control. From LG Electronics
to Carnival Corp. to Fidelity Investments
, meet the CEOs who are members of the lucky gene club.
Click here to see CEOs
who were born on third base and thought they hit a triple.