You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shari Redstone Suggests Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Will Not Become Chairman

Philippe Dauman is not likely to become chairman of Viacom Inc., according to a statement released Wednesday night by Shari Redstone, daughter of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, who is in failing health.

Redstone asserts that she believes the next chairman of Viacom should be someone who is not connected to the Redstone family trust that will inherit Sumner Redstone’s controlling shares in Viacom and CBS after his death. Shari Redstone and Dauman are among the seven members of the trust. Shari Redstone has the right to succeed her father in the chairman’s post at Viacom and CBS but she set an agreement with CBS’ CEO Leslie Moonves to give the chairman’s reins to him. That move came Wednesday just before Shari Redstone released her statement.

“As has been accurately reported, my father’s Trust states his intention that I succeed him as (non-executive) Chair at CBS and Viacom, and also names me as a Trustee after his death,” Shari Redstone said. “However, it is my firm belief that whoever may succeed my father as Chair at each company should be someone who is not a Trustee of my father’s trust or otherwise intertwined in Redstone family matters, but rather a leader with an independent voice. I was honored to nominate Les as the CBS Chair and am delighted to congratulate him on his new position. He follows in the visionary tradition of my father, and I know that Les will successfully lead CBS into the digital future.”

A Viacom spokesman was not immediately available for comment but the company said its board members would meet on Thursday. CBS’ move puts pressure on Viacom, as shareholders have increasingly raised concerns about the health and mental status of 92-year-old Sumner Redstone. A lawsuit is also in progress regarding control of Sumner Redstone’s health care decisions. That legal action was initiated by Manuela Herzer, a former Redstone companion who claims that she was ousted from his home last October at the behest of Dauman, a longtime lawyer for Redstone who took over health care directive decisions for the mogul.

SpringOwl Asset Management, an investment firm that has pushed for Dauman’s ouster and other changes at Viacom, applauded Shari Redstone’s statement. The sharp drop in Viacom shares during the past year has spurred SpringOwl and other investors to go public with its criticism of the company that is firmly in Sumner Redstone’s control through the super-voting shares owned by his private National Amusements Inc. holding company.

Viacom shares shot up 10% in after-hours trading Wednesday as the news of Moonves’ elevation and decisions to come at Viacom spread.

“SpringOwl has recently made a case for change at Viacom with the goal of increasing value for all shareholders and the company has responded. The positive jump in share price in after-hours trading demonstrates shareholder approval for these changes,” the company said. “We strongly urge management and the board to appoint an independent director as Executive Chairman and that it not be Philippe Dauman. We hope management and the board will continue to act responsibly in addressing Viacom’s depressed stock price relative to its much higher asset value.”

More Biz

  • Firefighters Respond to Brush Fire in

    Brush Fire Threatens Homes in Los Angeles' Pacific Palisades

    Firefighters are responding to a brush fire that appears to be threatening homes in Pacific Palisades. The homes that are threatened are on Charmel Lane and Vista Grande Drive. TV news images shows helicopters dropping water on the flames. Some homeowners were seen trying to fend off the flames with garden hoses, while others were [...]

  • Warner Chappell Names Shani Gonzales Head of

    Warner Chappell Names Shani Gonzales Head of International, Executive VP of A&R

    Warner Chappell Music today announced the appointment of Shani Gonzales as Head of International, Executive Vice President of U.S., A&R. Based in New York, she will report to the company’s co-chair & CEO Guy Moot. Gonzales was most recently co-head of A&R at BMG U.S. and U.K., following stints at Epic Records and Def Jam. She [...]

  • Sony/ATV Names Dana Baxter Senior VP

    Sony/ATV Music Publishing Names Dana Baxter Senior VP of Corporate Communications

    Sony/ATV Music Publishing today announced the appointment of Dana Baxter as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, effective November 1.  According to the announcement, in this role, she will lead all global communications strategies to further advance Sony/ATV’s evolution and mission of putting songwriters first.  She will report to Jon Platt, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV and will [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Fox, Charter Strike New Carriage Deal

    Fox Corporation and Charter Communications, Inc. on Monday said they struck a new “long term” carriage deal for Fox’s suite of TV networks, the latest in a recent series of agreements Fox has struck with various distributors. Financial terms were not disclosed. The pact covers distribution of Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business [...]

  • netflix debt

    Netflix to Raise Another $2 Billion Through Debt to Fund Massive Content Spending

    Netflix, burning boatloads of cash with a projected $15 billion content budget for 2019, is adding to its debt load once again. On Monday (Oct. 21), Netflix announced plans to offer approximately $2.0 billion aggregate principal amount of junk bonds, in both U.S dollar and euro denominations. As of Sept. 30, Netflix reported $12.43 billion [...]

  • Luciano Bernardini de Pace, Pietro Peligra

    Variety Announces Launch of Variety Italy

    Variety has announced the launch of Variety Italy, a new Italian-language international edition that will feature original as well as syndicated Variety content geared towards an Italian audience. The partnership marks the publication’s second international edition, following the announcement of Variety China earlier this year. Variety has partnered with Web Magazine Makers, led by president [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content