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Sumner Redstone Resigns as CBS Executive Chairman

February 3, 2016, 9:53 PM UTC
Photograph by Frazer Harrison—Getty Images

Feb 3 (Reuters) – CBS Corp said on Wednesday that media mogul Sumner Redstone had resigned as executive chairman, a move that comes amid heightened questions about the 92-year-old billionaire’s physical and mental health.

Shares of CBS were up 4.6 percent after the bell, while those of Viacom Inc, where Redstone is also chairman, rose 7.9 percent.

Viacom’s board was expected to meet on Thursday and to replace Redstone as chairman, CNBC reported.

Viacom could not immediately be reached for comment.

CBS said Redstone would be replaced by Leslie Moonves, its president and chief executive since 2006.

Redstone’s resignation as executive chairman was effective Feb. 2, CBS said. He will remain as chairman emeritus.

Redstone’s health has been the subject of intense debate, partly due to his notable absence from the companies’ recent earnings calls. His former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, challenged his mental competency in a lawsuit in November.

Redstone controls about 80 percent of the voting shares in Viacom and CBS through a holding company.

CBS said that, before electing Moonves, its board offered the position of non-executive chair to Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, but that she had declined.

Viacom said last month that it cut Redstone’s total pay by 85 percent last year in light of his “reduced responsibilities,” without giving further details.