Viacom, Inc.(NASDAQ:VIAB) reportedly announced on Saturday that Company’s Chief Executive Philippe Dauman is resigning. This announced put bars on the legal fight between members of the Viacom board and Redstone’s National Amusements, marks the booster for the family of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone in the battle for the $40 billion media empire
According to the reports, Dauman, 62, will be replaced as chief executive by his long-time right-hand man, Viacom Chief Operating Officer Thomas Dooley, who will be interim CEO until September 30, the closing of Viacom’s financial year. Viacom said the board, working with Dooley, will make a verdict on succession plans by then.
Reports said that Dauman will be retained as non-executive chairman through September 13 and be allowed to present his strategy to sell a lesser stake in Paramount Pictures to the Viacom board. Dauman is set to obtain close to $72 million under the agreement.
Sumner Redstone got rid of Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the Sumner M Redstone National Amusements Trust in May, as Redstone was reportedly unhappy with the company’s performance and Dauman’s plans to vend a stake in Paramount Pictures.
Later Dauman and Abrams hit back with their own lawsuit to stop their exile from the trust, arguing that Redstone was being manipulated by his daughter, Shari. Shari Redstone called the claim “absurd” and said her father made his own decisions.
Redstone also removed Dauman and four other directors from the board in June, sparking lawsuit in Delaware to stop the attempt.
According to the reported deal, the board would add the five directors that National Amusements suggest in June, rising the number to 15 directors after Dauman departs.
Dauman, who has worked with Sumner Redstone for more than last 3 decades, was made executive chairman in February, and Shari Redstone was reportedly opposing the decision.
Sumner Redstone’s granddaughter, Keryn Redstone, has filed a cross-complaint in connection to that lawsuit, and will reportedly planning to continue with her lawsuit even if there is a settlement, according to a source familiar with the situation. However, that suit is doubtful to affect the elimination of Dauman from Viacom and Redstone’s trust.