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Viacom Settles Redstone Lawsuits, CEO Steps Down

Viacom’s CEO Philippe Dauman is stepping down as part of a settlement the Viacom board approved with National Amusements, a private company owned by Sumner Redstone. The 93-year-old Redstone holds controlling stakes in both Viacom and CBS.

Thomas E. Dooley, currently Viacom’s COO, will serve as interim CEO through the end of the company’s fiscal year, and could earn the top spot permanently.

The company had been in a messy legal skirmish over control of Redstone’s media empire. Viacom Inc. owns Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET.

Viacom is also expanding its board, by adding five new members that will be nominated by National Amusements.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.