McGraw Hill Summit: Dauman Keeps It in the Family

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When Viacom sued Google for copyright infringement in 2007, the company’s president and chief executive Philippe Dauman had an ancillary stress to deal with: his son’s job prospects.

Speaking at the McGraw Hill media summit Wednesday afternoon, Dauman relayed a story about a circumstance in which the uncomfortable confluence of business and family came together. On the day Viacom demanded YouTube (owned by Google) remove clips of its programming from the immensely popular video sharing web site, Philippe Jr., Dauman’s oldest son, was interviewing for a position at Google…in content acquisition.

The younger Dauman called his dad to say he had a great interview but didn’t think the company would hire him because of the lawsuit. “They probably won’t,” said Philippe Sr. said, trying to ease the disappointment by telling his son a lot of companies would be interested in him.

But the worry was premature.  Dauman Jr. got the job, though Google did run the decision up the flagpole to upper management before offering the position.  “I gave them a lot of credit,” Dauman said, adding that he passed that sentiment along to Google CEO Eric Schmidt when their paths crossed at a conference.

As for the lawsuit, it is still in the discovery stage but Dauman sounded determined to see it through to trial if a settlement doesn’t come along. Sometimes business is thicker than blood.

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