Viacom Cuts Redstone Compensation By 85%

Viacom, under pressure from shareholders for a sagging stock price, said that its founder and its CEO both received sharply lower compensation packages in 2015.

Sumner Redstone, the founder and executive chairman of Viacom, received $2 million in total compensation in 2015, down 85%. The 92-year-old has been embroiled in a number of legal battles regarding his health and his ability to do business.

CEO Philippe Dauman's bonus was cut 30% to $14 million. His salary and equity awards were little changed from the previous year.

Dauman's salary was $4 million in 2015, up from $3.9 million in 2014. His equity award for 2015 was valued at $18.9 million, compared to $19.9 million for 2014.

Redstone's former live-in companion has been in court charging that the mogul is no longer competent to make medical and business decisions. In a deposition, Dauman testified that Redstone remains active in discussion business issues.

Meanwhile, activist shareholder SpringOwl Asset Management on Tuesday released a 99-page report that offered a number of suggestions for improving Viacom's share price that included ousting Redstone, Dauman and other corporate executives.

The report criticized Viacom for paying its management exorbitant compensation and heaving the company creatively bankrupt.

Viacom was also sued by another shareholder who wants the court to order Redstone and his daughter, Shari Redstone, to repay Viacom and CBS for payments he claimed were inappropriate because he is "physically and mentally incapacitated."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.