Viacom Finalizes Settlement, Dauman Steps Down
August 22, 2016 at 7:15 AM (PT)
The deal, reported FRIDAY (NET NEWS, 8/19), to settle the VIACOM leadership saga was finalized over the weekend, with the terms being the ones reported last week.
In the deal, CEO PHILIPPE DAUMAN is stepping down and will serve as Non-Executive Chairman through SEPTEMBER 13th, and COO TOM DOOLEY will serve as Interim CEO through SEPTEMBER 30th.
Five new board members will be appointed to replace the five ousted by VIACOM controlling shareholder SUMNER REDSTONE's NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS. DAUMAN will be given the chance to pitch the board on the sale of 49% of PARAMOUNT PICTURES, a move DAUMAN has aggressively championed and the REDSTONES, SUMNER and his daughter, Vice Chair SHARI REDSTONE, have opposed.
DAUMAN will also receive an over $72 million severance package. Lawsuits by DAUMAN and ousted board member GEORGE ABRAMS in MASSACHUSETTS and by VIACOM's board in DELAWARE will be dismissed under the settlement.
Granddaughter Says 'Not So Fast'
Meanwhile, KERYN REDSTONE, the niece of SHARI REDSTONE and granddaughter of SUMNER REDSTONE who is embroiled in her own dispute with her aunt, has filed an ex parte motion in the DAUMAN-ABRAMS case in MASSACHUSETTS Probate and Family Court demanding to see the unredacted settlement terms and asking for an AUGUST 26th hearing. The colorfully-worded filing asks why DAUMAN and ABRAMS "have apparently turned tail" and adds, "Inquiring minds want to -- indeed, must -- know -- why Plaintiffs have joined hands with SHARI and are now abdicating to her." The filing asks, "Where is SUMNER?," alleging that all of the reports of the former Chairman being happy with the settlement are second-hand information issued through public relations representatives and is "highly suspect" because, she alleges, "SUMNER simply is not capable of communicating, understanding, or approving of anything."