As Sumner Redstone gets ever older, succession and control concerns grow ever more intense. In recent years, Redstone’s daughter Shari has taken a more prominent role in the Viacom-CBS empire, with some speculating that she was his heir apparent. Alas, Fortune‘s Tim Arango reports that, having just finished buying out his son Brent’s stake in the business, Sumner is now trying to kick his daughter off both Viacom and CBS boards.
“Shari is a committed and involved board member and she has no intention of leaving the board,” said Shari’s spokesperson. Maybe so, but Sumner has apparently enlisted the help of none other than Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman (former Viacom corporate counsel and Sumner’s personal attorney) to cut a deal with his daughter, possibly one in which Shari gets control of the family movie theatre business (thrilling!) in exchange for her Viacom and CBS stock.
How will it end? Who will eventually get control? Now that Shari is apparently history, attention turns to Paula Redstone, the former grade school teacher who is Sumner’s wife (and who reportedly persuaded him to dump Tom Cruise last year). Whatever happens, Sumner Redstone never ceases to amaze. Tim Arango, Fortune.