CBS CEO Les Moonves Negotiating Exit With Network

Shari Redstone
		Rob Latour  Shutterstock

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

If sexual harassment allegations against Moonves are confirmed, the company would likely seek to claw back even more compensation.

The board of USA television giant CBS is negotiating a multi-million-dollar exit for CEO Leslie Moonves, accused of sexual misconduct by at least six women, United States media reported Thursday.

Moonves joined CBS in 1995 and led a turnaround of the network into the highest rated broadcaster in the American television landscape, while at the same time, becoming one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. Under his contract, Moonves is owed as much as $180 million in severance, according to CNBC.

In July, The New Yorker published an article in which six women who had worked with Moonves between the 1980s and late 2000s alleged they had been sexually harassed by the media executive.

CBS' shares rebounded quickly Thursday morning, following a Dow Jones report that CBS directors want the Redstone family to amend their trust to undo restrictions on CBS transactions, including a possible sale. His compensation reflects his value to the company: The New Yorker reports that he earned almost $70,000,000 a year ago, making him one of the highest-paid executives in the world. Moonves is "entirely recused" from the investigation, the statement from the board said.

Inquiries to CBS were not returned at the time of publication.

The CBS board has hired two outside law firms to conduct an independent investigation into the claims against Moonves, as well as other issues throughout CBS and CBS News.

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