Shari Redstone Suggests Philippe Dauman Shouldn't be Chairman of Viacom

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Philippe Dauman

Minutes after CBS announced Sumner Redstone has resigned as executive chairman, daughter Shari Redstone issued a statement regarding succession at CBS and Viacom, where her dad presumably remains executive chairman, and it suggests Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman isn't in line to assume the chairman role.

The statement from Shari Redstone says that no person who is a trustee of her father's trust should be chairman at either company, and Dauman is a trustee.

Dauman has been criticized, most dramatically by managers at activist fund, SpringOwl Asset Management, for lavish pay amid underperformance. The CEO made $54.15 million in fiscal year 2015, up 23 percent year-over-year though the stock sank more than 40 percent in the same timeframe. 

Dauman's contract extension last year made him CEO through 2018, though it also contained a clause stipulating he can resign if anyone but himself is made executive chairman should Sumner Redstone resign.

Here is Shari Redstone's statement, emailed to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, in its entirety:

"As Vice Chair of CBS Corp. and Viacom, Inc., and as President of National Amusements, Inc. (the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom), my singular focus is to act in the companies’  best interests by ensuring that each company has a strong Chair, a Board of Directors which diligently oversees management, and an outstanding leadership team.  

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.   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."

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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