Viacom’s board of directors has ruled out a potential merger with CBS following receipt of National Amusements’ letter and request, and dissolved the special committee that was formed to evaluate a potential transaction.
At the same time, it has appointed Bob Bakish as president and CEO and as a member of the board, with immediate effect.
Bakish has served as acting president and CEO of Viacom since November 15. He has held leadership positions throughout the organisation since joining in 1997, most recently serving as president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks prior to his acting CEO role.
Commenting on the appointment, Tom May, chairman of the board, said: “In Bob’s short time as acting president and CEO he has impressed the board of directors with the decisive steps he has taken. He has moved quickly to deliver upon the mandate given to him – to maximise Viacom’s potential as a strong, growing and independent company. We have great confidence in Bob’s strategic vision and his ability to move forward aggressively to position Viacom for the future.”
Shari Redstone, vice chair of the board, added: “I am very excited by the strategy Viacom is pursuing under Bob’s leadership, as well as the relentless hard work and passion he has demonstrated not only in his fast start at the helm but in his many years at the company. While there is much work to do, I firmly believe that Viacom has a bright future, and that confidence is underpinned by senior management’s commitment to innovation and a more coordinated, global approach to managing our brands.”
Bakish said: “I am honoured to be chosen by the Board to lead Viacom, its world-class brands and exceedingly talented people. I believe unequivocally in this company and its potential to create new opportunities and drive greater value as our business evolves and our industry transforms. We’ve been working very quickly to mobilise the organisation, reenergise our culture and address our areas of greatest need. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the board and our team to build on this momentum, and will share more on our plan and path forward in the New Year.”