Carl Folta could probably make a fortune writing a tell-all memoir of his years running corporate communications at Viacom, where he dealt with countless controversies involving Sumner Redstone and ousted CEO Philippe Dauman. But instead he’s becoming a senior counselor at Abernathy MacGregor — a strategic communications firm that specializes in crisis management.
“Carl’s extraordinary knowledge, expertise and relationships throughout the corporate community are very additive to our own, and will reinforce our firm’s position at the forefront of strategic communications for global and U.S. companies,” Abernathy MacGregor CEO Tom Johnson says.
Folta joined Paramount Communications in 1984, and moved to Viacom in 1994 when it bought the movie and TV company following a bidding war with Barry Diller.
He outlasted a series of chiefs pushed aside by Redstone including Frank Biondi, Mel Karmazin and Tom Freston.
Folta left in August after defending Dauman, who lost a bitter power struggle with Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone. They control National Amusements, which owns about 80% of the voting shares in Viacom.
When he left, then chief Tom Dooley said that Folta had “been on the front lines of every major initiative and transaction in the history of our company. Nobody fought harder for Viacom and all of us. Not only did Carl guide the company through some of the most active and challenging periods in the media industry, but he also helped Sumner Redstone become one of the most recognized and globally acclaimed media executives in history.”