Vacation's over, suckers, and Viacom grandaddy Sumner Redstone is up early and ready to roll. On the first day of school, he's rearranging the desks in his multimedia conglomerate schoolhouse and, just to make sure everyone knows he means business, class President and CEO Tom Freston has "resigned." On the bright side, employees will no longer have to fear Freston's blood-drawing, porcupine mane.
From: Redstone, Sumner
Sent: Tue 9/5/2006 7:31 AM
Subject: Message from Sumner
Today we announced that Philippe Dauman and Tom Dooley are rejoining Viacom. As many of you know, they are both long-time former senior executives and current Board members who have served as Deputy Chairmen and have been my most trusted advisors at Viacom through some of the most significant events in our history. Philippe has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and Tom has been named to the new role of Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.
We also announced that Tom Freston has resigned his positions with the Company. Tom has been a friend and colleague for many years and a driving force at MTV Networks from its inception. We will always be grateful to Tom for his many contributions to Viacom over the past 20 years, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. With the support of our exceptional employees, Tom built MTV Networks into an unmatched power in the entertainment industry, an achievement that can never be diminished and will not be forgotten.
But now, we must look ahead to the future. In the rapidly evolving worldwide digital marketplace, Viacom has a tremendous opportunity to become the leading creator of entertainment content on television, in film and on the internet. Many of you have worked with Philippe, so you know that he is the perfect choice to lead our company into this new era. He has the leadership skills, operational expertise, industry knowledge and judgment to take us to new heights and ensure that we reach our full potential in the years ahead. The Board and I have great confidence in Philippe and we know that, together with Tom, who has outstanding financial and management skills and has had an association with Viacom spanning more than 25 years, we will have a leadership team that is unbeatable.
I have worked closely with Philippe and Tom for over 20 years, and in addition to their current Board service, both men previously served in a broad range of senior management roles at Viacom. I am proud of our past accomplishments as a team during a period that was the most eventful and successful in Viacom's history. Additionally, apart from Viacom, they have worked together the last six years as the principals of DND Capital Partners, and have significant experience in analyzing the evolving media space through their involvement in venture capital and private equity financing.
Philippe and Tom share my tremendous passion for Viacom and its people, and for all our great brands and properties. Their complementary skills, broad media industry expertise and ability to identify unique opportunities will enable Viacom to execute successfully on our strategy.
You can find additional details on today's announcement on Viacom.com . We also encourage you to listen via web cast to the conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET today.
Thank you for your continued hard work and commitment to Viacom.