Published On: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016

Viacom power struggle ends with Redstone remaining leader, CEO agreeing to exit



Viacom and 93-year-old controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone have come to an agreement on Friday with Redstone remaining atop his Media giant with Dauman, 62, remaining non-executive chairman until he leaves the board on September 13, according to AFP and Reuters.

The agreement would end the battle over Redstone’s Viacom and CBS,  a $40 billion empire.

The agreement expands the size of the board, adding five new directors nominated by National Amusements, according to Dooley.

Under terms of the settlement, Dauman will be replaced by Viacom Chief Operating Officer and his longtime right-hand man, Thomas Dooley, who will be interim CEO until Sept. 30, and then may stay on longer, according to Reuters sources.

Various media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, reported that Dauman agreed to resign in exchange for a $72 million severance package.

Under terms of the deal, Dauman would end legal battles against Redstone and his daughter, Shari.

The litigation threatened to make public details about the health of the elder Redstone, whose fitness and mental status had already been questioned in legal proceedings by a former companion who described him as “a living ghost.”

Viacom’s management, led by Dauman and board member George Abrams, have alleged in court that Shari Redstone effectively controls her ailing father and is making a power grab for his $40 billion media empire.

It includes entertainment conglomerate Viacom which is home to the Paramount Pictures movie studio, and television group CBS.

Dauman and Abrams sought in a Massachusetts court to speed up their fight against being dismissed as trustees of National Amusements Trust, which controls Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements holding company.

They asked the court to quickly order a medical examination of Redstone, alleging he is not mentally competent to make business decisions and that he was being manipulated by his daughter, who was supposedly behind their dismissals.

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