Redstone resigns as chairman of Viacom and CBS, but isn't going away

Sumner Redstone has resigned from his positions as chairman of both CBS Corp. and Viacom.

sumner redstone


CBS CEO Les Moonves will take over as chairman of CBS Corp., while Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman will assume the chairmanship at his company.

The 92-year-old mogul still controls both media companies through 80 voting stakes. He will assume the new role of chairman emeritus at both CBS and Viacom.

The selection of Dauman -- which was supported by Redstone -- was a rebuke to Redstone's daughter, Shari Redstone. She rejected an offer to take the role of non-executive chairman. Shari Redstone was the only board member to vote "no" on the selection of Dauman.

"In choosing a successor to Sumner, the board considered the need for seasoned leadership in this time of unprecedented change, Philippe's business experience and unparalleled knowledge of Viacom, and his long-term vision for the company," said Viacom board member William Schwartz. "We believe his becoming executive chairman is in the best interests of the company and all shareholders."

The move comes as Dauman and Viacom are under fire from shareholders who want the trajectory of Viacom's falling share price changed. 

In December, The Wall Street Journal reported that while Moonves was in line to succeed Redstone at CBS, there was no clear path for Dauman to assume the chairman's role at Viacom.

The paper said Shari Redstone, who currently holds the title of vice chair for both CBS and Viacom, was actually listed as in line to succeed her father as chairwoman of both entities. However, she reportedly has a side agreement with Moonves to give him control over CBS Corp.

As WSJ noted, Redstone has had an often tumultuous relationship with his daughter, who has clashed with several of his live-in companions. However, she rejected a $1 billion offer to cash out of the family business last year and is reportedly mending ties with her father. 

For more:
- read this Reuters story
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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