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

  • Hollywood celebrated the individuals redefining "on-screen

    Media Access Awards Honors Individuals Increasing Representation for Disabilities

    Hollywood celebrated individuals redefining “on-screen representation for the disability community” with the Media Access Awards, in partnership with Easterseals, at the Beverly Hilton Thursday. Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the event, which featured Camryn Manheim, CJ Jones, Coby Bird and “The Peanut Butter Falcon” actors Zack Gottsagen and John Hawkes presenting awards along [...]

  • 'Roxanne' Singer Arizona Zervas Signs With

    'Roxanne' Singer Arizona Zervas Signs With Columbia

    Hotly tipped singer-songwriter Arizona Zervas, whose viral hit “Roxanne” is in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100,  has signed with Columbia, Variety has confirmed. Since the release of the track on Oct. 10, “Roxanne” has reached nearly 50 million streams on Spotify. The single topped Spotify U.S. top tracks chart for an uninterrupted [...]

  • Jax Media at Variety New Leaders

    Jax Media Accepts Variety's Creative Leadership Award at New Leaders Cocktail Party

    This year’s Variety New Leaders event, presented by City National Bank, honored innovative visionaries in entertainment. The cocktail party was hosted on a chilly Thursday night in Lower Manhattan’s Jimmy Rooftop Bar at the James Hotel. Patrick McCarthy, senior VP and head of marketing for City National Bank, kicked off the event highlighting the new [...]

  • taylor swift, scott borchetta and scooter

    Rage Against the Big Machine: What's Driving the Taylor Swift Showdown

    The latest Taylor Swift-Scooter Braun-Scott Borchetta kerfuffle involves the sort of music business minutiae that doesn’t commonly interest the general public — in fact, it’s probably safe to say that untold thousands if not millions of people are suddenly familiar with the concept of re-recording old masters. But in blasting Braun on social media and [...]

  • Redbox

    Redbox Settles Disney Suit, Agrees Not to Sell Download Codes

    Redbox has settled its litigation with Disney, agreeing not to resell codes that allow customers to download movies. Redbox has traditionally offered DVDs for rent through its distinctive kiosks. In October 2017, the company also began offering download codes at a considerable discount compared to the price on iTunes, Amazon or other services. Redbox did [...]

  • Shari Redstone: ViacomCBS 'Can Compete With

    Shari Redstone: ViacomCBS 'Can Compete With the Best of Them'

    Shari Redstone is emphatic: ViacomCBS has plenty of resources and the scale to compete in the new world order for media giants. “We absolutely have enough scale,” Redstone said Friday morning during her Q&A held as part of the Paley Center for Media’s International Council Summit in New York. “We have an incredible library. We [...]

  • Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift Denies Big Machine's Claims Over Song Use, 'Millions' in Debt

    In the latest salvo in a rapidly evolving media battle that has evolved over the past 15 hours, Taylor Swift refuted Big Machine Records’ claim that the company did not try to block her from using material from her early albums, which are owned by the label, in forthcoming television specials. Swift had leveled those [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content