Battle Over: Dauman Departs Viacom, Dooley Named Interim CEO

The fight for Viacom has ended -- with the Redstone family winning control over Philippe Dauman, the embattled chairman/CEO of Viacom, who is on his way out.

Thomas Dooley, Viacom’s COO, will become the interim chief executive officer through Sept. 30 -- and could be named permanent chief executive -- as part of an approving settlement by the Viacom board on Thursday.

Dooley will work with the Viacom board to develop a new strategic and financial plan for the company. He is a longtime Viacom executive, who started in 1980. He is a member of Viacom’s board since 2006.

Thomas May, chairman of Eversource Energy -- who was proposed as a new director of the Viacom board back in June by National Amusements, the Sumner Redstone-controlling company of Viacom -- is expected to be named chairman of Viacom, according to reports.



Dauman will depart with a total severance package valued at about $72 million. And as part of the settlement, Viacom will now have a changing and  enlarged board of directors of at least 15. Five veteran board members will be departing this year.

Sumner Redstone is chairman emeritus of Viacom, the 93-year-old mogul who controls both Viacom and CBS. He and his daughter Shari Redstone, a Viacom and CBS board member, won out over Dauman after months of a highly public corporate battle to control the company.

Shari Redstone has been a key decision maker in the long-term battle, according to sources.

One major bone of contention that the Redstone Family had with Dauman's direction of the company included his push to sell a large 49% minority stake in Paramount Pictures. Part of the agreement also means Dooley will be able to present a plan to the board for that to happen.

Viacom has seen its stock price sink sharply -- nearly 50% -- over the two years, due to poor TV advertising results from its networks and mediocre results from its Paramount Pictures unit.

Viacom’s board met on Thursday and approved a settlement ending a number of lawsuits both sides began.

Redstone controls about 80% of the voting shares in Viacom and CBS through National Amusements. His mental health has been called into question by Dauman and George S. Abrams, another Viacom board member. Both were members of the Viacom board who were ousted by National Amusements.

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