Shari Redstone, daughter of ailing 92-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone, says she wanted both companies controlled by her family to have a strong chairman and not one entwined in the family business the way Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman is..
Sumner Redstone on Wednesday stepped down as executive chairman of CBS, again bringing the future management and ownership of the media companies he controls into question.
Shari Redstone has praise for CBS CEO Les Moonves, named chairman. But she opposed giving Dauman a simliar post at Viacom. Dauman is a trustee of the trust that would control Viacom and CBS after Sumner Redstone's death. Shari Redstone is also a trustee, so it is possible they would clash over control of the media companies.
"As Vice Chair of CBS Corp. and Viacom, Inc., and as President of National Amusements, Inc. (the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom), my singular focus is to act in the companies' best interests by ensuring that each company has a strong Chair, a Board of Directors which diligently oversees management, and an outstanding leadership team," Shari Redstone said in a statement.
Redstone says that the family trust states that she will succeed her father as non-executive chair at CBS and Viacom. It also named her a trustee after his death.
"However, it is my firm belief that whoever may succeed my father as Chair at each company should be someone who is not a Trustee of my father's trust or otherwise intertwined in Redstone family matters, but rather a leader with an independent voice. I was honored to nominate Les as the CBS Chair and am delighted to congratulate him on his new position. He follows in the visionary tradition of my father, and I know that Les will successfully lead CBS into the digital future," Shari Redstone said.
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