NEW YORK — Viacom Inc. is close to naming a new chief for its ailing Blockbuster Entertainment Group Inc. unit, company executives said.
The company will bring in an outsider to replace Bill Fields, who resigned last month, Deputy Chairman Thomas Dooley said after Viacom's annual meeting in New York on Thursday.
"We expect to announce very quickly a new leader for Blockbuster," Chairman Sumner Redstone told shareholders during the two-hour meeting. He didn't specify when the appointment would be made.
Investors have been eagerly awaiting the naming of a new executive to lead a turnaround at Blockbuster, which has been struggling to compete with big retailers.
Fields' departure left some investors wondering whether the firm will keep the turnaround strategy he put in place.
Improving results at Blockbuster "is the overriding issue for us right now," Redstone said.
Viacom shares fell 18 cents to close at $30.25 on the American Stock Exchange.