Just a little while ago, readers of our differently coasted siblings at Gawker sent in reports of Tom Freston's final exit from Viacom's NY headquarters, in which the recently dismissed president and CEO of the company began his head-clearing hiatus from corporate life with a touching send-off from the minions lamenting the sudden end of his benevolent reign:
"A ton of MTV Networks/Viacom employees filled the lobby to can't move-standing room only as Tom Freston left the building on his last day. There was a standing ovation, and cheering as he walked through the mobs of people saying goodbye."
"...at least a thousand employees were down in the lobby cheering him on as tears rolled down his eyes..."
Broadcasting & Cable has also just posted an account of the lobby-jamming love-in on behalf of the Viacommies' fallen boss:
With Freston slated to exit Viacom's Manhattan headquarters for good at 4 p.m. Thursday, employees poured out of their offices and cubes to fill the lobby and the hallways, spilling out into Times Square outside. As Freston exited an elevator, the crown started clapping and cheering, forcing him to push his way out to a car waiting on the street. "It's was a pretty big security problem," says one Viacom employee at the rally which consisted of more than 1,000 employees.
In order to get the word out that a rally would occur, emails and text messages shot throughout the building. "It was organized in like 15 minutes," said one employee. "They [the employees] were chanting his name. He stopped, talked to a few people, got lots of hugs."
'The energy of the moment was unbelievable," said another MTV staffer after witnessing the event. "People were weeping, screaming. I've never experienced anything like that at the workplace."
Philippe Dauman was absent, en route to Los Angeles to make an appearance on the Paramount lot. His sidekick, new chief administrative officer Tom Dooley, was in the lobby in the middle of the crowd.
Dooley was lucky to make it out of there alive; while the crowd was assembled to celebrate their leader, we imagine that it wouldn't have been too difficult for someone to channel the mob's positive energy into a destructive force that would tear the nearest Freston successor limb from limb, smear his blood across their tear-strewn faces, and chant "We want Sumner!" with enough power to shake the building all the way to its highest floors. You can be sure that once Redstone gets the news about today's demonstration of fealty to Freston, he'll have his security detail digging the moat around his executive castle a few feet deeper to help repel a likely attack from his pitchfork-wielding corporate peasants.
[Photo: Broadcasting & Cable]
- Tom Freston Has Left the Building [Gawker]
- Viacom Staffers Stage Rally for Freston [B & C]
- Previously: Tom Freston To Take Some Time To Figure His Shit Out [Defamer]