Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston thinks his successor Philippe Dauman is the cause of the company’s current struggles, and called on its board to replace him.
Appearing on CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Wednesday, Freston told host Michelle Lee that Dauman, who was named CEO by Sumner Redstone in 2006, is unfit to lead an entertainment company.
“You can’t run an entertainment company through lawsuits, through litigation,” Freston said. “I think it requires more deft management than maybe they’ve had in the past. There’s been a series of pretty serious errors.”
“The right guy for a job like that, the person who holds that chair should be somebody who is turned on, attracted to and somewhat knowledgable about the creative community and the popular culture,” he continued.
Lee then asked Freston if he agrees with the description of Dauman as an “arrogant elitist.”
“Totally,” he said.
Viacom offered a response to CNBC regarding Freston’s appearance, arguing that the company is doing better under Dauman’s leadership than it was under Freston.
“Viacom is significantly bigger, more global and generates far more profits today than when Philippe Dauman’s predecessor left office in 2006,” a spokesperson said.
This is not the first time Freston has spoken out against his successor. In an interview with NPR last week, Freston similarly called for new leadership at Viacom.
“The Redstones don’t seem to be in favor of the management,” Freston said. “Wall Street has not indicated that it is. Quite to the contrary. And by many calculations, there is not support for Philippe within the company.”