Wrinkly News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch chose Natalie Bancroft, an inexperienced 27 year-old opera singer, for his company's board for very good reasons: He had to choose someone from her family, which controlled Dow Jones before selling to Murdoch last year; The people in the family who might actually be qualified for the board seat would also be a pain in Rupert's ass; and Natalie Bancroft has promised to work her "little butt off" in a quest to figure out what the hell she's doing!
Portfolio gets the first extended interview with Bancroft in its new issue, and starts off trying to present the situation as "what you don't know about this young woman who may actually be more qualified than you think," but quickly acknowledges that, no, the girl has no clue.
"I'm not just some idiotic girl in pigtails yodeling," she says. Rather, she is opera-singing. Natalie's self-described list of qualifications for her board seat on the multibillion-dollar media conglomerate?
Ticking off her qualifications to serve on the News Corp. board, she points out that she grew up in Europe, has a flexible schedule (she commutes to Milan for voice classes every few weeks), and sleeps only three to five hours a night. She also says she is multilingual and routinely reads foreign-language newspapers. Instead of being intimidated by the accomplished men who will be her colleagues, she says the prospect thrills her: "I have a much easier time understanding men. I was a tomboy. I love camping. I love sailing. I love doing boy stuff."
Watch out, Murdoch.
[Photo via Portfolio]