Sumner Redstone Reverses Course, Will Attend Viacom Shareholder Meeting
Viacom controlling shareholder and executive chairman Sumner Redstone will appear in person at the entertainment company's annual shareholder March 15 in New York after all.
"Mr. Redstone very much wanted to attend the Viacom annual meeting," a spokesman said Friday. "He was able to change his commitment and will participate in person at the meeting."
On Thursday, it emerged that the 88-year-old, who lives in Los Angeles and also is executive chairman and controlling shareholder of CBS Corp., would miss the annual meeting for the first time in memory, with his spokesman citing an unspecified "unavoidable conflict."
Redstone was expected to address shareholders at Viacom's annual meeting in a video presentation but opted to attend in response to an outpouring of interest and speculation about his health and focus on company matters.
Some observers said early Friday that while shareholder meetings ratify decisions for the most part, a missing chairman with voting control could look bad. It also is the main annual forum for shareholders to interact with top brass.
Redstone, who has scaled back his public appearances during the past few years, has presided over Viacom's shareholder meetings as long as observers can remember.