Sumner Redstone has the power to remove Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, but not his daughter Shari, from the trust that will control his $40 billion media empire after his incapacitation or death, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
There is no evidence that Sumner Redstone is considering replacing Dauman. But the fact that Shari Redstone has a more secure position on the seven-person trust, which has not previously been reported, could embolden her in efforts to wield more influence at Viacom as it struggles with falling ratings.
Shari Redstone, who sits on Viacom's board, voted against Dauman's elevation to executive chairman of Viacom to replace her father in February, arguing that a member of the Redstone trust should not serve as executive chair of Viacom or CBS, the other media company majority owned by her father. Sumner Redstone supported Dauman taking the new role.