CBS reportedly negotiating exit for CEO Les Moonves

Andrew Cummings
September 9, 2018

Moonves released this statement to The New Yorker that was also obtained by EW: "Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our Company". The discussions include a $100 million exit package for CEO Leslie Moonves, who was accused of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in a July article in The New Yorker.

The board has offered a roughly $100 million exit package, CNBC reported earlier on Thursday, citing people familiar with the negotiations. (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.

"This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution".

Shari Redstone is a major shareholder of both CBS and Viacom, and has been seeking to merge the two companies.

If Moonves does soon leave the company, he would be replaced by COO Joe Ianniello in the interim, CNBC reported. CBS, led by Moonves, has opposed the move. CBS didn't return a request for comment.

Last week, a NY law firm filed a class-action complaint against CBS alleging shareholders had suffered in the wake of the allegations.

That investigation is ongoing and could impact Moonves' severance, the sources said.

According to a filing from CBS in April, if Moonves is terminated for cause, or in the event of resignation without "good reason", no incremental payments and benefits would be made.

Moonves has denied the allegations against him.

"There's an established legal doctrine that says you can potentially be sued for overpaying your CEO to go away", said Eric Talley, a Columbia Law School corporate governance professor.

Other reports by iNewsToday