Freston Walks Away with $82M


Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston will walk away with a separation package valued at about $82 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.

According to the documents, Freston -- who was fired in September by chairman Sumner Redstone ( -- will receive $58.9 million in termination payments (including his projected salary and bonus through 2009), $7.4 million in deferred compensation and the $5.7 million balance on his company 401(k) plan. In addition, he will receive 90,141 shares of restricted Viacom stock, which the company valued at about $10 million.

Freston also agreed to serve as an adviser to Viacom for three years at annual compensation of $1 million. As part of that agreement, he will not be required to spend more than five days (up to eight hours per day) per month on such services.

According to the document, Freston was entitled to receive one-half of the payout within 30 days of termination, but he waived that right. Instead, Freston agreed to wait until the day after the six-month anniversary of his resignation.

Freston resigned Sept. 5, after Redstone was reportedly upset about the decline in the company‘s stock price and its failure to acquire Internet social-networking giant MySpace ( He was replaced as CEO by longtime Redstone confidant Philippe Dauman.