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>> A major move that could determine the future of Sumner Redstone's $40 billion empire. Reuters has learned the 92-year-old media mogul has kicked Viacom's CEO and long-time confidant, Philippe Dauman, out of the group that will decide what happens to Redstone's holdings, which include Viacom and CBS, when the billionaire dies or can no longer make decisions.
Another Viacom board member, George Abrams, was also removed from the seven-person trust.>> I'm Conway Gibbs, outside of the Viacom headquarters in New York City. Redstone's decision to shake up who controls his assets after death came by fax, according to two people familiar with the situation. And it gives his daughter, Shari Redstone, more certain control of her father's vast fortune.
>> In an email response, a spokesperson for Dauman called the steps, quote, a shameful effort by Shari Redstone to seize control by unlawfully using her ailing father, Sumner Redstone's name and signature. Redstone stepped down as chairman of both media companies earlier this year under a cloud of uncertainty, but remains the largest shareholder.
Questions about his health and mental competency were brought to light by a lawsuit by an ex-girlfriend who argued he was unfit to make his own decisions, but a judge dismissed that lawsuit earlier this month. Sumner Redstone turns 93 this coming week.