Redstone: Daughter Won't Be Viacom Successor

Sumner Redstone: No chance that daughter Shari, once close confidant, will succeed him as chairman of Viacom, CBS.
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Sumner Redstone said there is no chance that his daughter, Shari, once a close confidant, would succeed him as chairman of Viacom and CBS in a CNBC interview that aired Thursday.

“The reason she won’t succeed me is not she -- that she isn’t qualified,” Redstone said, according to a transcript published in The New York Times, which has an online relationship with CNBC.

Redstone continued, “But I have made it clear that good governance requires -- these are two public companies, they’re not private like National [Amusements] -- that two companies, the boards should decide who succeeds me. I’m not worried about it ’cause it’s going to be another 20, 30 years.”

The comments indicated that a rift between father, age 85, and daughter, 54, is widening. National Amusements holds Redstone-family investments and is also a major operator of movie theaters. Shari is president of National Amusements. Shari has one sibling -- her brother, Brent -- who is even more removed from the father.

The New York Times reported that a spokesman for Shari denied that such an exit plan is in place and said father and daughter are simply negotiating. In a Viacom filing dated July 3, Shari is listed as vice chair, and she holds the same post for CBS.