Lessons From the Viacom Dispute

The settlement of the Viacom dispute teaches several lessons. It is more a less a victory for Sumner M. Redstone and particularly for his daughter, Shari Redstone. On Saturday, the parties announced that the five directors nominated by National Amusements would be appointed. Philippe P. Dauman will leave as chief executive, and Tom Dooley will be interim chief executive through Sept. 30 while he helps the new board develop a new strategic plan. Pending board approval, Mr. Dooley may take on the chief executive job permanently. The new directors will control the nominating committee for the board, so expect the old directors to be replaced gradually. Three are already rumored to have agreed to depart. In conjunction with the Viacom settlement, the trust dispute will be settled, though details were not announced. The settlement leaves Mr. Redstone and Ms. Redstone firmly in control, though the fight leaves no one unscathed.

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