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Cramer Skeptical of Dauman's Future Despite Lawsuit

Updated from 7:37 a.m. with reports of a planned lawsuit and Cramer comment.

Viacom (VIAB) CEO Philippe Dauman and board member George Abrams filed a legal complaint on Monday to remain part of the seven-person trust that will oversee 92-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone's $40 billion media empire in the event that he dies or is becomes incapacitated, CNBC reported.

A lawsuit filed in a Massachusetts court by Dauman and Abrams would follow Redstone's announcement on Friday in a statement by his lawyer that he had removed both men from boards that oversee his trust as well as National Amusements, the privately held movie theater chain that owns a nearly 80% stake in Viacom and CBS (CBS) .

If Dauman fails to reverse the decision, the Viacom CEO risks being forced out of the television and film company and losing a long-simmering battle with Redstone's daughter Shari for control of the company. Shari Redstone, Viacom's vice chairman and a board member, has been critical of Dauman's management of the company in recent years.

"This is incredibly important, because this is all about who's really in control of Viacom, and if Shari Redstone gets control of it, conceivably, Philippe Dauman, one of the most over-paid CEOs in the country, his whole gig could be, let's just say, you can't fire him out right, but I do not believe that he stays, not with that pay package," said TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer while at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. "I'm sure that's something that Shari would get rid of immediately. On the other side, the enrichment of Philippe Dauman if they do win is rather extraordinary."

Shares of New York-based Viacom gained 3.3% midday Monday to $40.32 per share.

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Dauman called the moves to replace him from the trust as...


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