Moguls Converging on Sun Valley Risk Some Awkward Moments
(Bloomberg) -- When the billionaires and corporate moguls converge on Idaho’s Sun Valley resort in early July for Allen & Co.’s annual conference, the investment bank may need to give a lot of thought to the seating chart.
Quite a few attendees expected to be at this year’s confab are at each other’s throats. Take CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves. He’s locked in a legal fight for control of the broadcast company with top shareholder Shari Redstone, who is also on the guest list.
Comcast Corp. Chairman Brian Roberts is invited as well. He’s battling Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger for control of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets, a deal worth at least $52 billion. Fox founder Rupert Murdoch, along with his sons Lachlan and James, are also invited, according to a list of guests obtained by Bloomberg.
The Sun Valley conference, held annually at the bucolic resort after the July 4 holiday, is a chance for many of the world’s richest and most powerful people to mingle and attend panels on politics, technology and other issues. Some of the most memorable deals in media history have been hatched there, including Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post.
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a regular guest in years past, is not on the list. But former CBS TV anchor Charlie Rose, who stepped down from hosting his multiple shows amid harassment allegations, is slated to attend. A now-defunct show by Rose was taped at Bloomberg Television headquarters in New York.
The guest list also includes Tom Brokaw, who has strenuously denied allegations of harassment, including claims he tried to force a coworker to kiss him on more than one occasion. Jerry Richardson, who recently agreed to sell his Carolina Panthers football team amid an investigation of workplace misconduct, has been invited too.
Being on the guest list is no guarantee that someone will attend. Two years ago -- when Shari Redstone was fighting to oust Viacom’s then CEO, Philippe Dauman -- both were invited but Dauman was a no-show.
Others listed as attending this year include Walmart Inc. CEO Doug McMillon, General Motors Co.’s chief Mary Barra and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Warren Buffett. The world of sports is represented by, among others, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, National Hockey League commission Gary Bettman, and agent Casey Wasserman, who heads the group bringing the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2028.
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