National Amusements was founded by Michael Redstone in 1936. He was succeeded by Sumner Redstone, 92, who recently announced his retirement as chairman of the family’s media empires. Third generation, Shari Redstone is currently president of National Amusements, and also runs Advancit Capital, which invests in new media. Through National Amusements, the Redstones control both the CBS Corporation (owner of CBS) and Viacom (owner of Paramount Pictures) through super voting shares. Today the company operates more than 1,500 movie screens across the globe.
Following the retirement announcement of Sumner Redstone, succession troubles have started in the firm. While in CBS, he will be replaced by its existing CEO and President Leslie Moonves, in Viacom Shari Redstone is vigorously opposing the appointment of Philippe Dauman, its existing CEO, as successor to her father. She was the only vote from the board of directors at Viacom, opposing the appointment of Philippe Dauman as chairman.
Earlier in 2006, Sumner Redstone’s son, Brent Redstone, sued the family over the running of its business interests, arguing that his sister was favored over him and that he had been shut out of the company affairs. It was settled out of court the following year.