NY Times; THR

Open Warfare at Viacom, as Two Longtime Confidants of Sumner Redstone Are Removed as Trustees

May 23, 2016  •  Post A Comment

This past Friday, May 20, 2016, found two longtime confidants of Sumner  Redstone — Philippe P. Dauman, the chief executive of Viacom and George Abrams, a Viacom director —  “unexpectedly removed from their positions on the trust that will control Mr. Redstone’s companies after he dies or is declared incompetent,” reports The New York Times, adding, “They were also separated from the board of National Amusements, the private theater chain company through which Mr. Redstone controls about 80 percent of the voting stock in Viacom and CBS, two of the world’s largest entertainment companies.”

Dauman has been the president, CEO and chairman of Viacom for 10 years. He has worked for Redstone since at least 1986. Abrams, a lawyer, has worked for Redstone since the 1960s.

The story says that “The weekend’s developments prompted immediate questions about whether or not Mr. Redstone, who is in poor health, was competent to make those decisions and what role [his daughter, Shari] Redstone might have played in influencing her father.”

Sumner Redstone will turn 93 this coming Friday, May 27th.

The Times also notes that “In a statement on Saturday, Ms. Redstone said, ‘I fully support my father’s decisions and respect his authority to make them.’

“Mr. Dauman called the moves ‘invalid and illegal’ and said Mr. Redstone had lacked the capacity to have taken such steps.”

If you click here, you will be taken to a story on the website of The Hollywood Reporter, where, if you scroll down, you can read a lengthy statement issued on Sunday by Sumner Redstone’s camp, followed by a response from a Viacom spokesperson.

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