Viacom has ousted Philippe Dauman as its CEO and appointed Thomas Dooley as interim president and CEO in his place, the company officially announced on Saturday.
In a news release, Viacom said Dauman will resign immediately as President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom and will be succeeded by Thomas Dooley, who will serve as Interim President and CEO through September 30, 2016, the end of Viacom’s fiscal year, by which time the Board, working with Dooley, will make a decision on succession plans.
Under the terms of the settlement, all lawsuits among Dauman, board members and Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone will be terminated. In addition, Viacom will create an expanded Board of Directors to include the five Viacom directors elected in June by National Amusements Inc., the privately held Redstone company which has an 80 percent stake in both Viacom and CBS.
Dauman said in the release, “I care deeply for Viacom, which has been an important part of my life since I joined Sumner in the acquisition of the Company 30 years ago. I believe this agreement will give the Company and its employees the best opportunity to continue a smooth evolution into the future. I will do my utmost to ensure an effective Board and management transition in my remaining time as Non-Executive Chairman.”
He continued, “It has been a privilege to lead Viacom and have the rare opportunity to work side by side with so many friends and colleagues to build great brands and implement successful initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. Most of all, I am proud of our people, our culture and our inclusive values.”
Viacom’s board approved an agreement that ended a multi-pronged legal battle with Sumner Redstone, and Shari Redstone. Dauman, however, doesn’t come out empty-handed — he is set to receive a package worth an estimated $72 million.
Although Sumner Redstone mentored Dauman for much of their shared careers, the Redstone/ National Amusements camp recently argued that Dauman had done a bad job running the publicly traded corporation, whose stock price has basically halved since its height two years in the midst of troubled performance by cable networks like MTV and Comedy Central as well as the Paramount movie studio.
Earlier this month, NAI issued a press release saying, “Mr. Dauman is the third highest paid CEO in the United States and among the worst as measured by pay for performance. Including his pre‐negotiated ‘golden parachute,’ he stands to receive almost a half billion dollars for a tenure that has seen the marked decline of one of the nation’s greatest media companies.”