Shari Redstone, vice chair of CBS Corp. and Viacom, defended her decision last year not to merge the companies at a keynote Q&A Wednesday at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.She cited the potential still to be unlocked at Viacom now that its been rejuvenated by management led by CEO Bob Bakish."What became apparent to me very quickly was that our assets were really undervalued, which I understood, but what I didn't understand at the time was the...
Shari Redstone, president of National Amusements and vice chair of Viacom and CBS Corporation, most assuredly inherited her father’s storied tenacity.
Shari Redstone’s influence over the family business has ebbed and flowed during the past 25 years, but she flexed muscle in a big way in 2015 and 2016 when her father’s advancing years led to a crisis in governance at Viacom and the Redstone Family Trust that will control the empire after Sumner Redstone’s death.
Shari Redstone began her methodic campaign to exert her influence over her father’s affairs in late 2015 when she removed former girlfriend Manuela Herzer from his Los Angeles home. She endured a down-and-dirty legal war that erupted with Herzer and former Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman over her actions and the question of her father’s mental compentency. In the end, Shari Redstone prevailed and was able to reshape the board of Viacom and the Redstone Family Trust.
Shari Redstone’s moves were all the more surprising because she had been mostly on the outs with her father for years. She twice rebuffed offers from the older Redstone sought to buy out her stake in the National Amusements holding company. She remained president of the company but focused largely on running Advancit Capital, a venture capital firm she launched in 2011 to focus on digital media startups.
Shari Redstone followed in her father’s footsteps by initially pursuing a career in law. She worked as a criminal defense lawyer and estate planning attorney in the Boston area for 15 years before joining National Amusements in 1994. On her watch, National Amusements expanded its exhibition holdings in the U.S. and abroad, and implemented a number of technology-driven innovations at its theaters. She serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Theater Owners, a trade organization once headed by Sumner Redstone.
Through Advancit, Shari Redstone’s investments have included Maker Studios and Russell Simmons All Def Digital.