Viacom's Bressler to step down in Mar '06

MUMBAI: Viacom Inc. has announced that the company's senior executive VP and CFO Richard J. Bressler will be quitting the company next year. As per an official communiqué, Bressler will not be renewing his contract which expires in March 2006.

Reportedly, Viacom's top management change in June 2004 has played a part in Bressler's departure. The exit of chairman and chief executive Mel Karmazin and the appointments of Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston as co-presidents may have affected Bressler's position and prospects in the company. New York Times has quoted an unnamed source as saying that Bressler had been angling for the president's post which he denied later. Viacom will begin a search for a successor to Bressler.

Says Bressler, "Viacom is a fantastic company and I have enjoyed the challenge of helping guide the company's financial activities, managing our strategy and merger & acquisition teams. I know the company is well-positioned for success under the leadership of Sumner Redstone, Tom Freston and Leslie Moonves. I am looking forward to finding new challenges following a transition period that will give Viacom ample time to bring in a new Chief Financial Officer."

"Rich is a talented executive who has been an integral member of our corporate team and has made many contributions to our company during a period of great change and success. He has been an active and successful advocate for Viacom in the financial markets, a valued strategic advisor and has helped us become one of the strongest companies in the media business," says Viacom chairman & CEO Redstone.

Bressler joined Viacom in his current role in March 2001 from AOL Time Warner where he was executive vice president of AOL Time Warner and chief executive officer of AOL Time Warner Investments. Prior to that, he served as chairman and CEO of Time Warner Digital Media- a position he assumed in July 1999. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Time Warner Inc. from March 1995 to June 1999 where he was responsible for the management of all corporate, strategic and financial activities

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