Media

Dauman named Viacom executive chairman

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Viacom on Thursday named Philippe Dauman executive chairman, succeeding the ailing 92-year-old Sumner Redstone after three decades at the helm of the media company.

The move came a day after CBS named CEO Leslie Moonves as Redstone's successor. Moonves will remain CEO of CBS, a role he held since 2006.

The board's selection of Dauman came over the objections of Redstone's daughter, Shari, who released a statement saying she preferred someone who was not a member of her father's trust. She also said she turned down the chairman job.

"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," she said.

Viacom's board appointed Redstone to the newly created position of chairman emeritus.

Shares of Viacom and CBS were higher on Thursday.

In its announcement Wednesday, CBS noted that Shari Redstone had declined an offer to become nonexecutive chairman, but would remain on the board as vice chair. She also congratulated Moonves on his new role as CBS chair.

Viacom offices in New York City.
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In a statement Wednesday, Shari Redstone addressed her candidacy for the role.

"My father's Trust states his intention that I succeed him as (non-executive) Chair at CBS and Viacom, and also names me as a Trustee after his death," she said.

Late last month a California judge ruled Redstone should be subject to a mental competency exam requested by his ex-girlfriend, amid an ongoing dispute about whether the billionaire was fit to remain chairman of the companies he controls.

— Reuters and CNBC's David Faber and Julia Boorstin contributed to this report