Shari Redstone Hints Philippe Dauman Won’t Become Viacom Chairman

Sumner Redstone’s daughter released a statement after Redstone resigned as CBS’s chairman

Shari Redstone, the daughter of 92-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone who resigned as CBS chairman Wednesday, indicated that Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman wouldn’t follow CBS CEO Les Moonves by becoming chairman of that Redstone-led company.

Separately, Viacom’s board of directors said it would meet Thursday.

“It is my firm belief that whoever may succeed my father as chair at each company should be someone who is not a trustee of my father’s trust or otherwise intertwined in Redstone family matters, but rather a leader with an independent voice,” Shari Redstone said in a statement Wednesday.

Dauman’s ties to the Redstone family and Sumner Redstone’s affairs have deepened as his health has declined. In October, Dauman was named Sumner Redstone’s “healthcare agent,” the person designated to make his health decisions should he become incapacitated.

Dauman is also expected to be part of a seven-member board that will oversee a trust that will inherit Sumner Redstone’s shares in family-owned company National Amusements, whereas Moonves is not.

Viacom didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Shares in Viacom surged in after-hours trading. Class B shares were up 9.7 percent at $49, while CBS stock rose 4.1 percent to $50.24. Both have slid in the last year, with Viacom down 33 percent and CBS off 14 percent.

Earlier Wednesday, CBS announced that Moonves would be succeed Sumner Redstone as chairman at that company, as the elder executive stepped down to become chairman emeritus.

Until Wednesday’s reshuffling at CBS, Sumner Redstone chaired both that company and Viacom. Through his family-owned company National Amusements, he also holds 80 percent ownership of CBS Corp. and a similar stake in Viacom.

In her statement, Shari Redstone added that she “was honored to nominate Les as the CBS chair,” saying he follows “the visionary tradition” of her father that will lead CBS into a digital future.

Sumner Redstone’s trust states his intention that his daughter succeed him as non-executive chair of both companies, and also names her as a Trustee after his death, she said.

The flurry of changes come ahead of a planned medical examination of Sumner Redstone was in the offing. In January, a Los Angeles superior court judge ruled the executive’s health needed to be determined as part of a lawsuit filed by the mogul’s ex-girlfriend to have herself reinstated as his healthcare agent, rather than Dauman.