Viacom Chair and CEO Philippe Dauman and Shari Redstone may be fighting over Sumner Redstone’s empire in the courts and boardroom but they may be spending some exclusive time together next month at Allen & Company’s Sun Valley retreat. Both are invited to the yearly executive retreat – which could see the rivals undoubtedly uncomfortably hanging out in Idaho with the likes of Disney boss Bob Iger, Harvey Weinstein, DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg and other CEOs. Paramount’s Brad Grey is not on the list this year, but another past attendee, CBS’ Les Moonves will be at the July 5- 10 retreat.
Maybe some a détente of sorts can be achieved between repeated attendee Dauman and the younger Redstone by Moonves or Oprah Winfrey at the 34th annual shindig of media, technology and finance brass. Yes, Oprah will be there too at this year’s five-day retreat, fresh off her appearance today at the United State of Women Summit with First Lady Michelle Obama. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Discovery’s David Zaslav, LA Olympics boss Casey Wasserman, Warner Bros chief Kevin Tsujihara, Gawker foe Peter Thiel and now ex-Disney COO Thomas Staggs will be among the group of 300 attendees too. Rupert Murdoch is back for another year also with sons James and Lachlan – who had just been promoted to CEO and Executive Chairman of Fox respectively before last year’s retreat.
A revolving door of power players, the low key meet-up is a mash up of dinners, panels and deals with familiar tech faces such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Google and Twitter bosses and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella attracting a lot of the spotlight in recent years. They’ll all be there this year too but the 2016 get-together also sees CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, Sony’s Michael Lynton and IAC’s Barry Diller back. Plus producers Peter Chernin, Brian Glazer, ICM Partner’s Chris Silbermann, ESPN boss John Skipper, and fellow past attendees NBCUniversal’s vice-chairman Ron Meyer, Haim Saban, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Fox’s Chase Carney, and Liberty Media’s John Malone are on the guest list too.
Still, even with all that industry power among the other bright lights of the corporate world, Dauman and Redstone can’t help but be the center of speculation if they both actually show up. Michael Eisner will be there as usual, so perhaps the ex-Disney boss can lead by example as on how to get along with your successor. Certainly Herb Allen will have to make sure Redstone and Dauman are not seated together at his traditional end of the retreat dinner – or maybe they’ll just pass the dinner rolls in silence if Jerry Seinfeld can’t get them to laugh.