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CBS to Les Moonves: No $120M for You

The company's board denies him huge severance package
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2018 5:35 PM CST
This Sept. 19, 2017 photo shows Les Moonves, former chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – That $120 million? Don't bank on it, Les. CBS says an internal sexual-misconduct probe has tanked any hope of ex-CEO Les Moonves getting his ginormous severance, CNBC reports. "We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance ... as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company's investigation," per the company board. CBS says its investigation into the news division, Moonves, and company culture didn't reveal widespread harassment but did uncover some "improper and unprofessional conduct." It also found a lack of support for the human resources department and "dignity, transparency, respect and inclusion" in the workplace—which CBS vows to improve.

The investigation, conducted by two law firms, follows a shakeup of the CBS board that saw five veteran directors pushed out and six new faces placed on the 11-member panel, per Variety. The AP notes that CBS has also promised $20 million to 18 women's rights groups. Moonves resigned in September after a bombshell New Yorker report uncovered misconduct allegations from six women and a corporate culture that ignored sexual harassment and worse. A later report accused Moonves of keeping a female employee "on call to perform oral sex." He has denied most of the accusations. (CBS paid one star $9.5 million in a sexual harassment case, while another star says rejecting Moonves cost her a TV show.)

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