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Viacom president, CEO Philippe Dauman succeeds Sumner Redstone as executive chairman

MUMBAI: The board of directors of US media conglomerate Viacom has elected Viacom CEO and President Philippe Dauman executive chairman, succeeding Sumner Redstone in that role.

Redstone, 92, has got into a newly created role of chairman emeritus.

Redstone was under pressure from shareholders to resign as executive chairman of Viacom. He is also facing lawsuit challenging his mental competence.

Earlier, in a similar situation, Redstone gave way to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. The board on Wednesday announced the appointment of Moonves as executive chairman of CBS.

“Sumner Redstone’s contributions to Viacom and the media industry are legendary. He has successfully led Viacom with a dedication to building a global business for the benefit of all shareholders. On behalf of the Viacom board, his colleagues and all our shareholders, we want to thank Sumner for his vision and leadership. There is no one who loves this company more and we will continue to be inspired by his wisdom in the years to come.

“Philippe has been instrumental with Sumner in every aspect of Viacom’s success for nearly 30 years and most recently as CEO has taken on the tough task of navigating our future in a time of unprecedented innovation and disruption. He has laid out a strategic long-term vision for the company that we fully endorse. We have complete confidence that his dedication to Viacom, his global experience and his determination to further our culture of creativity and innovation will continue to serve the interests of all shareholders and build long-term value.

“In choosing a successor to Sumner, the board considered the need for seasoned leadership in this time of unprecedented change, Philippe’s business experience and unparalleled knowledge of Viacom, and his long-term vision for the Company. We believe his becoming Executive Chairman is in the best interests of the company and all shareholders,” said William Schwartz, Of Counsel to the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Chairman of the Governance and Nominating Committee of Viacom’s Board of Directors

Schwartz added that the board has also extended an offer to Viacom’s non-executive vice chair, Shari Redstone, to become non-executive chairman. Redstone declined the offer and will continue in her role as non-executive vice chair.