The television industry's favorite parlor game of late---speculating on Tom Freston's future at Viacom---is now over, with Tuesday's announcement that the 60-year old Freston has resigned from his roles as Viacom president and CEO.
Freston, who has presided over a tough period at Viacom that has included a ratings dip at MTV and the recent severing of the Paramount film studio's relationship with Tom Cruise, is being replaced by Philippe Dauman, 52, a longtime confident of Viacom Executive Chairman and Founder Sumner Redstone.
The Viacom board also named Thomas Dooley, 49, to the newly created position of senior executive VP and chief administrative officer.
Dauman and Dooley are both currently members of the Viacom Board of Directors and have previously held a number of senior roles at Viacom, including serving as Deputy Chairmen from 1996 to 2000. Since 2000, they have run DND Capital Partners, L.L.C., a private equity firm specializing in media and telecommunications.
Dauman will report to Redstone, who said that, "I have a comfort level with him and high regard for his leadership abilities, strong financial and operational skills, and superb judgment."