Viacom hands comms reins to Julia Phelps

Phelps most recently served as EVP of comms for Viacom International Media Networks.

Julia Phelps. (Image via Viacom).
Julia Phelps. (Image via Viacom).

NEW YORK: Viacom, which saw a high-profile succession battle last year that led to the ouster of its chief executive and resignation of its former comms leader, has named Julia Phelps SVP of communications and culture, effective immediately.

She is replacing former EVP of corporate communications Carl Folta, who departed last August.

Phelps will serve on the company’s senior executive team and oversee corporate comms, corporate marketing, and culture, the company said in a statement. She will also be responsible for the corporate responsibility and special events teams and internal creative agency, Catalyst.

Phelps, previously EVP of comms for Viacom International Media Networks, will continue to report to president and CEO Bob Bakish. In her prior role, she oversaw the subsidiary’s internal and external comms for its extensive portfolio of media brands.

Phelps joined Viacom in 2005 after a stint at DeVries Public Relations.

Last August, Folta resigned four days after Philippe Dauman was forced to step down as CEO. Dauman vied for control over the company by seeking to declare majority owner and chairman Sumner Redstone mentally incompetent. It was ultimately Shari Redstone, daughter of Sumner Redstone, who prevailed in "almost total victory," according to The New York Times. After a tumultuous transition that included the exit of interim CEO Tom Dooley, Bakish was named president and CEO in November 2016.

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