Philippe Pierre Dauman (born March 1, 1954) is the President, CEO and Chairman of Viacom. He has served at this post since September 2006. Dauman is a longtime associate of the company’s chairman Sumner Redstone. Dauman served from 1994 to 2000 as a member of Viacom’s executive committee and as executive vice president in charge of strategic transactions, legal and government affairs, human resources and administration, supervising Paramount Pictures Entertainment, Showtime Networks and Simon & Schuster. Dauman was also a director at Redstone-owned CBS Corporation until September 2006.
On February 4, 2016, it was announced that Viacom’s board elected Dauman as Sumner Redstone’s replacement for the position of Chairman of Viacom.
Life and career
Dauman grew up in New York City, the son of Life magazine photographer Henri Dauman. His parents emigrated from France. At Yale University he fell in love with his roommate’s sister, who would become his wife. Dauman married Deborah Ross in September 1977.
Dauman graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1978 and went to work for the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, where he earned $25,000 as an associate. After two years in the firm’s Paris office, he returned to New York to work in the corporate group under partner Stephen Volk. Handling a routine Securities and Exchange Commission form 13D filing for Volk client Sumner Redstone (also a poker player) in 1986 led to an advisory role in Redstone’s 1987 hostile takeover of Viacom, a close personal relationship with Redstone, and a seat on Viacom’s board of directors. Six years later, Dauman accepted an offer to join Viacom as senior vice president and general counsel, in exchange for $553,000 in salary with a $900,000 bonus. In 1994 he earned $2.3 million, plus options worth millions more.
From 1993 to 1998, he also was Viacom’s general counsel.
In 2009, Dauman and Viacom launched the Get Schoolededucation initiative with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – an effort to raise awareness of the crisis in America’s public schools. He also hosted the Get Schooled education conference on September 8, 2009.
Dauman is a director of Lafarge, and on the Board of Directors of the KIPP Foundation, a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools in underserved communities. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a member of the Business Roundtable and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Board of Trustees for The Paley Center for Media, the Board of Trustees of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System Foundation, the Executive Committee of the Lenox Hill Hospital and the Board of Trustees and Dean’s Council of Columbia University School of Law.
Dauman took a tough stance on the reproduction of Viacom’s content when Viacom sued YouTube in March 2007. Dauman discussed copyright issues with YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and was interested in working out a deal. Dauman and Chad could not agree over advertising terms however.
In the 1970s, Dauman married Deborah Ross, in an Episcopalian church They have two children, Philippe, Jr., and Alexandre.