The upheaval continues in the top executive ranks at Viacom, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that interim CEO Thomas Dooley is leaving the company. Meanwhile, the proposed sale of a piece of Paramount Pictures has been scrapped, according to the paper.
“The moves follow last month’s ouster of longtime Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, as part of a settlement with Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholders of the media company,” The Times reports. “Dooley then stepped into the top job with hopes of being able to remake the media company, where he has worked since 1980.”
The Times adds: “But Dooley’s departure, which will come in mid-November, furthers Shari Redstone’s goal of completely overhauling the leadership of the beleaguered media company that has seen its stock plummet about 50% in the last two years. Shari Redstone had agreed to give Dooley a chance in the top job as one of the conditions of the high-profile legal settlement between the Redstone family and Dauman and other Viacom board members.”
Many observers expected Dooley to get at least a year to work on the media giant. Instead, he lasted less than four weeks.
In a statement, Tom May, chairman of the board, said: “I am pleased that Tom Dooley has agreed to stay on as Interim president and CEO through Nov. 15 to allow the board to conduct an orderly succession process.”
The Times notes that Viacom’s stock has continued to slide since Dauman’s exit.
“Now Viacom needs to shore up its balance sheet because it has debt payments looming and no injection of capital on the horizon now that the Paramount sale has been scratched,” The Times reports. “So the board on Wednesday said it was slashing its dividend — a move that Wall Street had been expecting. The company is cutting its dividend in half.”