A cautionary family business tale with lessons that can be taken and used by other families in business too.
How can the board of directors of a family-controlled company threaten to seize ownership control from the controlling family?
Shari Redstone, the third-generation president of her family’s U.S. media empire, National Amusements, Inc. (NAI), entered a courtroom in May 2018 to fight to maintain her family’s ownership control of one of their businesses. Her father, Sumner Redstone, spent decades growing his father’s drive-in theatre chain into a $40 billion portfolio of cable networks, television production and broadcasting companies, publishing houses, movie studios, and movie theatres. This legal battle pitted the Redstone family against the board of directors of one of their two main operating companies, CBS Corporation, the $13 billion television broadcast company, and the highest performing of the family’s holdings. The situation had boiled to the point of endangering the Redstone family’s controlling ownership of CBS.