In a major shakeup, Sumner Redstone announced plans on Thursday to remove five directors from the Viacom board of directors and replace them with five new people.
The move is being contested and needs court approval, but when the dust settles, the board could have a very different composition.
Philippe Dauman, George Abrams, Frederic Salerno, Blythe McGarvie and William Schwartz would be out, replaced by Kenneth Lerer, Thomas May, Judith McHale, Ronald Nelson and Nicole Seligman.
Six others — Thomas E. Dooley, Cristiana Falcone Sorrell, Deborah Norville, Charles E. Phillips, Jr., Shari Redstone and Sumner Redstone — would remain.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new board members, with bios provided by Viacom and Redstone’s National Amusements.
Kenneth Lerer is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures and the Chairman of Buzzfeed. Previously, he was the Chairman and Co-Founder of The Huffington Post. Currently, Lerer is also Chairman of Betaworks and Dodo.com and serves on the Boards of Business Insider and Thrillist.com. Lerer is aslo Chairman Emeritus of the Public Theater in New York City and serves on the Boards of the Association to Benefit Children (ABC) and the Bank Street College of Education.
Thomas J. May is Chairman of Eversource Energy. Before May 2016, he also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Eversource. Previously, May held various executive positions, including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. May was also the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at NSTAR when the company merged with Northeast Utilities in April 2012. Currently, May is a director of Bank of America Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., Chairman of the Stonehill College Board of Trustees, a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Board member of the Kennedy Library Foundation.
Judith McHale serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cane Investments, LLC, which she joined in 2011. From June 2004 to December 2006, McHale served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications, Inc., the parent company of Discovery Channel, and served as its President and Chief Operating Officer from 1995 to 2004. McHale also served as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of State from 2009 to 2011. In 2006, McHale worked in partnership with the Global Environment Fund, a private equity firm, to launch the GEF/Africa Growth Fund, an investment vehicle intending to focus on supplying expansion capital to small and medium-sized enterprises that provide consumer goods and services in emerging African markets. She currently serves on the Boards of Ralph Lauren, Corp., SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Yellow Pages Group, and previously has served on the Boards of Host Hotel & Resorts, Inc., DigitalGlobe Inc., John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. and Potomac Electric Power Company.
Ronald Nelson serves as the Executive Chairman of the Board of Avis Budget Group, Inc. Mr. Nelson served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avis Budget Group from August 2006 until December 2015 and also held the titles of President and Chief Operating Officer from June 2010 until October 2015. Previously, Nelson held several executive finance and operating roles, starting in April 2003, with Cendant Corporation, including as Chief Financial Officer and President, and also served on the Board of Cendant Corporation from April 2003 to August 2006. From November 1994 to March 2003, Nelson served as Co-Chief Operating Officer of DreamWorks SKG. Prior thereto, he was Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and a director at Paramount Communications, Inc., formerly Gulf + Western Industries, Inc. Nelson also serves on the Boards of Convergys Corporation and Hanesbrands, Inc.
Nicole Seligman served as the President of Sony Entertainment, Inc. and of Sony Corporation of America until March 2016. She previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Sony Corporation from June 2005 to June 2014. Seligman joined Sony in 2001 and additionally served in a variety of other capacities during her tenure at Sony, including as a Corporate Executive Officer at Sony Corporation, as Group Deputy General Counsel of Sony Corporation, as General Counsel at Sony Corporation of America and as an Executive Vice President at Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. Seligman joined Sony Corporation of America from Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C., where she had been a Partner in its litigation practice working on a broad range of complex civil and criminal matters and counseling a wide range of clients, including President William Jefferson Clinton and Lt. Col. Oliver North. Seligman joined Williams & Connolly LLP in 1985. Seligman has been a Non-Executive Director at WPP plc since January 2014 and has served as its Senior Independent Director since April 2016. Seligman served as law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1984 to 1985 and as law clerk to Judge Harry T. Edwards at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1984.
Prior to joining Viacom, he was Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DND Capital Partners, L.L.C., a private equity firm specializing in media and telecommunications investments that he co-founded with Mr. Dauman, from May 2000 until September 2006. Prior to that, Mr. Dooley held various corporate and divisional positions at the former Viacom Inc., which he first joined in 1980, including Deputy Chairman, member of its Executive Committee, and Executive Vice President, Finance, Corporate Development and Communications.