Viacom’s board today announced the creation of the new position of lead independent director — and the role was immediately filled by ex-Verizon CFO Frederic V. Salerno.
In the new role, Salerno will coordinate the activities of the independent directors and to serve as a liaison between company Executive Chairman, President and CEO Philippe Dauman and other independent directors. The idea is to enhance Viacom’s corporate governance practices.
Salerno is a retired vice chairman and chief financial officer of Verizon Communications Inc. and predecessor companies Bell Atlantic and NYNEX.
In addition to Viacom, he’s currently a director for Akamai Technologies, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., CBS Corporation, and FCB Financial Holdings Inc. CBS and Viacom have the same parent company, National Amusements.
“Fred has been a strong leader as a member of our board and his judgment, broad perspective and experience will serve him and the board well as he undertakes his new role as Lead Independent Director,” Dauman said. “I am committed to strong governance practices that are thoughtful, focused and proactive, particularly in this time of transition for the company. I am delighted that Fred has agreed to take on this important new role that will help maintain a sharp focus on the interests of our entire shareholder base.”
“I am honored to have been selected by the independent members of the board as Lead Independent Director, and I look forward to greater involvement in representing Viacom’s shareholders,” Salerno said. “Philippe has set out a clear vision for Viacom that is focused on its unique strengths and global ambitions. I believe that we are poised for tremendous accomplishments and that Viacom’s management team will deliver even greater value in the years ahead.”