A family rift at Viacom Inc and CBS Corp widened as Sumner Redstone, the chairman of both companies, took aim at his daughter Shari, who had been widely expected to succeed him, in a letter faxed to Forbes magazine.
The letter came out on Friday, a day after Fortune magazine and the Wall Street Journal reported on the rift, which could put the future control of both companies in question if Shari winds up exiting her father's media empire. Shari, who is 53 years old, serves as a director and vice chairman of both companies. Her father is 84.
The articles quoted people familiar with Shari's thinking as saying she had had differences with her father over corporate governance issues, including Shari's effort to tie executive compensation more closely with financial performance.
"While my daughter talks of good governance, she apparently ignores the cardinal rule of good governance that the boards of the two public companies, Viacom and CBS, should select my successor," Redstone wrote in his letter, which Forbes posted on its Web site on Friday afternoon.
It is not clear what communications Shari Redstone has had with her father on succession, and a spokeswoman for Shari Redstone didn't immediately return a call and e-mail message seeking comment.
The spat comes less than six months after Redstone settled a separate dispute with his only other child, Brent, a lawyer who lives in Colorado. The elder Redstone wound up buying out his son's interest in National Amusements Inc, a privately held company that owns a chain of movie theaters, as well as voting stock in CBS and Viacom, which controls a majority of the shareholder vote in both companies.
That left Redstone owning 80 percent of National Amusements and Shari the other 20 percent. Redstone said in his letter on Friday that he would consider buying out Shari's interest, "as long as the price is acceptable."
Redstone has a history of clashing with executives as well. Last September he ousted Tom Freston as the CEO of Viacom after just eight months, installing in his place longtime adviser Philippe Dauman, and in 2004 Mel Karmazin quit as president of Viacom after a long period of butting heads with Redstone.
Redstone closed his letter by saying: "It must be remembered that I gave to my children their stock; and it is I, with little or no contribution on their part, who built these great media companies with the help of the boards of both companies."
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and