Monday, August 22, 2016

As the Sumner Turns

The news broke this weekend that Philippe Dauman was officially out as the CEO of Viacom. The RAMP Newsletter has the details...

Under the terms of the settlement, which have been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Viacom and [controlling shareholder] National Amusements, Inc. (NAI), all lawsuits among them will be terminated -- those suits had been filed in Massachusetts, Delaware and California by Dauman and fellow board member George Abrams, challenging the mental capacity of 93-year-old Sumner Redstone to make decisions about his businesses. Viacom will also create an expanded Board of Directors to include the five Viacom directors that were elected in June by NAI -- Kenneth Lerer, Thomas May, Judith McHale, Ron Nelson and Nicole Seligman. The new Board will then select a successor for Chairman. Obviously Dooley's name will be in consideration for the permanent post. Sumner Redstone will remain Chairman Emeritus and Shari Redstone will remain Non-Executive Vice Chair. Dauman will remain as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Viacom through September 13, 2016. Until then it should be nice and awkward around the old conference table... to lessen the blow, Dauman will walk away with some lovely parting gifts -- a severance package worth some $72 million.

Let me translate for you. In exchange for not making Sumner testify, and therefore expose his potential inability to speak or reason, Dauman gets $72 million, and Redstone's daughter essentially gets what she wants.

I somehow think this isn't the end of this story, but it should be.