The struggle for control of Sumner Redstone’s trust is getting uglier.
Redstone has removed Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and longtime Viacom director George Abrams from the trust that will control Redstone’s $40 billion media companies after he dies or is declared incompetent.
Dauman and Abrams were also removed from the board of Redstone’s theater chain National Amusements.
Redstone’s attorney Michael Tu of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe confirmed the actions to the New York Times. Tu told the Times Redstone was concerned about Viacom’s performance.
The trust controls the future of Viacom and CBS. The move comes after the Viacom board decided to end paying Redstone a salary, we reported.
Dauman stated the move was “shameful” and “illegal” and believes the ailing 92-year-old Redstone is not capable of making such a decision, according to the account.
The development puts Dauman’s position in jeopardy and is seen as a coup for Redstone’s daughter Sheri Redstone who is vice chair of Viacom and CBS and a member of the trust, reports the Times. She had no comment.
The move comes more than a week after a California judge dismissed Redstone’s competency trial.