An amended lawsuit say stock sales from Leslie Moonves, Joseph Ianniello and other executives amount to evidence of knowing wrongfulness and fraudulent motive.
In a terse regulatory filing, CBS has confirmed that its former CEO, Les Moonves, isn’t going away without a fight. In December, the company’s board cited the findings of its internal investigation in declaring that Moonves had been fired for cause and would therefore not be eligible for the $120 million exit package included in his contract. In the filing, CBS said: “Mr. Moonves notified the company of his election to demand binding arbitration with respect to this matter. The company does not intend to comment further on this matter during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings.”
CBS’s board was emphatic this week that the ousted chief executive Leslie Moonves “will not receive any severance payment,” slamming the door on his quest to collect $120 million. Case closed? Hardly. Under his termination agreement, reached when he left the company in September, CBS itself will be picking up the tab — it has been footing the bill for Moonves’s monthslong legal fight against CBS.
Former Walt Disney Co. Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs has emerged as a top candidate to become CBS Corp.’s new chief executive, people familiar with the matter said, as the network tries to move past months of uncertainty and upheaval since the departure of Leslie Moonves over allegations of sexual harassment.
On the one hand, #MeToo has taken away a lot of the shame and fear of speaking up about sexual assault, it’s made pariahs of some of the accused — like Moonves and fellow entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein — and it’s given women hope. But it shouldn’t have taken a media spotlight to remove a leader who had so grossly abused his power for years; even then, the inclination of CBS’s board was reportedly to protect him.
In the past 13 months, CBS has undergone a companywide reckoning in the wake of the #MeToo movement that has stretched from its morning show to its primetime lineup, its news division to its executive suite. Three powerful men at the company — Leslie Moonves, its chief executive; Charlie Rose, its morning show anchor; and Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes — have all lost their jobs because of workplace conduct.
CBS Corp. said Friday it would award $20 million that was originally earmarked for severance for its former CEO, Leslie Moonves, to 18 different organizations that work to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.