CBS reportedly negotiating exit for CEO Les Moonves

Ivan Schwartz
September 9, 2018

(After all, he wouldn't have to leave if it weren't for that pesky Ronan Farrow!) An agreement supposedly entitles him to as much as $180 million in severance and "a production deal" (guessing sob story rights?) if the board made a decision to dismiss him for, like, no good reason. The allegations included sexual assault and unwanted advances.

Moonves, who orchestrated CBS's revival into a ratings victor, is one of the most powerful American men implicated in the #MeToo era that ignited almost a year ago with the career implosion of Harvey Weinstein.

The Journal and CNBC both say Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello would be CBS' interim CEO if Moonves leaves.

CBS shares were up more than 3 percent on Thursday following media reports of the possible settlement.

CBS did not immediately respond to an AFP request to comment.

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However, in July, the New Yorker's Ronan Farrow published an article that detailed allegations by six women against Moonves who claim they were sexually harassed and intimidated by Moonves. CBS, led by Moonves, has opposed the move. CBS and National Amusements, run by media mogul Shari Redstone, are reportedly in talks to settle a court battle over control.

Moonves received a total compensation of $69.33 million in 2017, making him one of the highest paid USA executive.

The Los Angeles Times also reported that talks are ongoing on a severance package for Moonves and a settlement which could also resolve a legal dispute for control of CBS that would favor controlling shareholder Shari Redstone.

Moonves has denied the allegations against him.

"He had earlier said he "may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances", which he called mistakes that he regretted immensely, but that he understood "'no" means "no"' and had never used his position to harm anyone's career.

Other reports by GizPress

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