PR Chief Carl Folta Leaves Viacom
The public relations exec leaves the company four days after his boss, chief executive Philippe Dauman, was ousted in a management showdown with Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari.
Longtime public relations chief Carl Folta has resigned from Viacom as a new management sweeps into the media giant following the ouster of chief executive Philippe Dauman.
Folta had been with Viacom for more than two decades and, for the past couple of years, has been charged with the likely thankless task of defending Dauman during his feud with Sumner and Shari Redstone. The announcement was made to employees via an internal memo from interim CEO Tom Dooley, obtained Tuesday by The Hollywood Reporter.
Since the Redstones ultimately prevailed, culminating in Dooley replacing Dauman four days ago, it was probably only a matter of time before changes were made in the PR department. Insiders, though, say Folta is the only one to have resigned thus far.
"Day in and day out, he literally had the hardest job in the company, and he handled it all with grace, skill and a smile," Dooley wrote in his memo.
Folta joined Gulf and Western in 1984 and then Viacom a decade later after it merged with Paramount Communications. While he ended his time at Viacom advocating for Dauman, he had previously served as Sumner Redstone's senior adviser and spokesman.
"Not only did Carl guide the company through some of the most active and challenging periods in the media industry, but he also helped Sumner Redstone become one of the most recognized and globally acclaimed media executives in history," Dooley acknowledged in his memo.
The interim CEO also credited Folta with Viacom's "most impactful work in supporting our communities."
Among the initiatives Folta championed was the creation of KNOW HIV/Aids, the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning cross-platform public education partnership with Kaiser Family Foundation; a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Get Schooled program; and various other charitable efforts.