CBS negotiating exit of CEO Les Moonves: reports

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

Moonves’s potential departure comes amid sexual assault allegations against him — and as CBS faces a legal dispute regarding control of the company.

The CBS board is offering Moonves an exit package worth about $100 million, made up mostly of CBS stock, CNBC reported Thursday. Under his contract, Moonves is owed as much as $180 million in severance, according to CNBC.


CNBC reported that the board wants to give Moonves a less lucrative exit package if it confirms the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Moonves was accused of sexual harassment and assault by six women in an exposé published in The New Yorker in July.

The New Yorker reported that Moonves denied “any characterization of 'sexual assault,' intimidation, or retaliatory action." He did, however, acknowledge trying to kiss actress and writer Illeana Douglas, according to the statement provided to The New Yorker.

If Moonves does soon leave the company, he would be replaced by COO Joe Ianniello in the interim, CNBC reported.

The talks come as CBS is in a legal battle with Shari Redstone’s National Amusements over control of the company. Redstone has sought to merge CBS with Viacom, where she also has a controlling stake, but the CBS board has resisted that idea. CNBC reported that CBS and National Amusements are working on a settlement to end the legal spat.