Following an extension that keeps Leslie Moonves at CBS (NYSE: CBS) through 2015, Sumner Redstone has locked in longtime friend and adviser Philippe Dauman as CEO of Viacom (NYSE: VIA) through 2016. Dauman’s previous contract was through 2011; his new contract adds another five years. Dauman was already on the Viacom board when Redstone picked him in September 2006 to replace Tom Freston, the MTV Networks architect dumped unceremoniously after less than a year as CEO. (That should be a reminder that contracts and contract extensions don’t always ensure longevity at a job.)
Freston’s Achilles heel was stock performance; Viacom’s stock languished after the 2006 split from CBS while the Moonves-led company was a stock star. This time, Viacom’s stock performance against other large media companies in tough 2009 and since is one of the reasons singled out by the board for Dauman’s extension. The company says the bulk of his compensation will continue to be linked to performance. More on that when we see the SEC filing.