Viacom Says Two Directors Drop Out - TheStreet

Viacom Says Two Directors Drop Out

Ivan Seidenberg and William H. Gray won't stand for re-election at the big media conglomerate.
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Viacom's (VIAB) - Get Report board of directors will soon be getting smaller.

The media and entertainment conglomerate said two of the company's 17 directors won't run for re-election at next month's annual meeting.

By not replacing them, Viacom -- which cut its board size last year as well -- says it will be getting closer to its "target size" of 14 directors.

Like other high-profile companies, including rival


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, Viacom has said that a smaller board of directors -- presumably, a less unwieldy committee of corporate overseers -- is one element of improved corporate governance.

Nine of the returning 15 directors qualify as independent, said Viacom, addressing another yardstick often used to assess the quality of corporate governance -- independent director majorities.

Departing from the board will be Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of


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, and William H. Gray III, CEO of The College Fund/United Negro College Fund.

"Bill and Ivan have decided to leave our board in order to focus on other commitments," Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone said in a statement. The departing directors "have served Viacom and its shareholders with distinction for many years and have been particularly instrumental during a period of great change and growth at the company," Redstone said.

On Thursday, Viacom slipped 38 cents to $40.24.