Viacom boss Philippe Dauman resigns following $72m settlement


The chief executive officer of Viacom, Philippe Dauman, has resigned after a fraught, familial battle for control of the US media giant.

Thomas Dooley, his longtime right-hand man as the company’s chief operating officer, replaces him temporarily.

Mr Dauman also stood down as president, under a settlement that includes a $72m (£55m) payoff. He remains non-executive chairman until 13 September.

He is due to present a plan to sell a small stake in Paramount Pictures.

The settlement follows a battle between Mr Dauman and Viacom’s controlling shareholder, Sumner Redstone.

Until recently Mr Dauman, 62, was a close confidant to the 93-year-old Mr Redstone and had worked for him for 30 years.

However, in May Mr Redstone removed him and another board member, George Abrams, from National Amusements – a company that controls Mr Redstone’s major shareholdings in both Viacom as well as CBS, the US television network.

At the time Mr Redstone said he had been unhappy with Mr Dauman’s Paramount plan.

Mr Dauman and Mr Abrams said Mr Redstone’s daughter Shari Redstone had played a role in their removal. They said she was manipulating her father and filed a lawsuit alleging that Mr Redstone was unfit to make the decision.

Ms Redstone called the accusation “absurd”.

Viacom will also appoint five new board members, suggested by National Amusements, who will help find a new chief executive.

Mr Dooley will act as CEO until 30 September, the end of Viacom’s fiscal year, by which time the board is expected to make its decision.

Shares in Viacom closed up 1.8% at $48.70.



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