Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Leslie Moonves in settlement talks with CBS board

Leslie Moonves in settlement talks with CBS board

CBS and Moonves are reportedly planning for the CEO's exit from the company he led for years-a company that loved him until he was accused of habitual sexual misconduct in an investigative report published by the New Yorker in August.

This week CBS's board announced it has appointed two legal firms to look into the allegations brought against Moonves.

The CBS board is in talks with CEO Leslie Moonves to negotiate his exit, according to media reports.

The CBS board is offering Moonves an exit package worth about $100 million, made up mostly of CBS stock, CNBC reported Thursday. Under that arrangement, Moonves, remarkably, would be forfeiting approximately $80 million in compensation which he would reportedly be owed as part of a severance package and a production deal.

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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. Year-to-date, CBS has declined -6.52%, versus a 8.82% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

The report also notes that COO Joe Ianniello could be tapped as a temporary replacement. Moonves is "entirely recused" from the investigation, the statement from the board said.

Moonves, who joined CBS in 1995 and became CEO in 2006, is locked in a legal battle over control of the company with National Amusements, its largest shareholder, owned by Shari Redstone and her father Sumner who also control media company Viacom.

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

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