CBS Corp.is preparing to announce the departure of chief executive officer Les Moonves, according to people familiar with the situation, as the media mogul faces fresh allegations of sexual harassment.
CNN reported CBS and Moonves will donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement and other groups fighting for workplace equity for women. Any severance to Moonves will depend on the results of CBS' internal investigation into the harassment allegations.
The New Yorker on Sunday published a second round of reporting on Moonves, adding to a July report in which women accused him of sexual harassment and intimidation. The allegations included Moonves forcing women to perform oral sex on him and retaliating when advances were turned down.
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Mr Moonves has been one of the most powerful executives in U.S. media, joining CBS in 1995 as head of entertainment and becoming chief executive of CBS Corp in 2006.
CBS also settled its disagreement with Redstone's National Amusements and announced that Joseph Ianniello, the company's COO, will take over as CEO on an interim basis. The two sides eventually reached an agreement where National Amusements would retain its 80% voting stake in CBS while also agreeing to not force the merger with Viacom. That move gives Moonves a victory in that arena; he sought to keep CBS operating as a separate concern.
"For the past 24 years it has been an incredible privilege to lead CBS's renaissance and transformation into a leading global media company", Moonves said in a statement. She's been someone who I admire and respect greatly. The filing also says Moonves agreed to perform "transition advisory services" for a year (or until the board determines if he can be fired "for cause") and that CBS will provide office services and security services for up to two years after his resignation.
CBS is reshaping its board as it pursues an independent investigation into Les Moonves, its ousted board chairman, with additional allegations of sexual misconduct continuing to surface.
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She says Moonves suggested going to lunch on a work day, but instead drove to a secluded area where he "grabbed my head and he took it all the way down onto his penis, and pushed his penis into my mouth". The initial article detailed allegations from six women of Moonves harassing them and using his position of authority to intimidate them, and sometimes, ruin their careers.
"In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations", the 68-year-old continued. Moonves is one of a number of powerful men in movies and TV, including Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein, who have been accused of behavior ranging from boorish to criminal. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career. "We believe them", Times' Up said in a statement early Sunday.
"I was asked a couple of months ago to make a statement supporting Leslie, which I felt I was as diplomatic as I could be with the statement that I made", she said, likely alluding to a now-deleted tweet from July, after the first wave of accusers spoke out. The CBS board is being reshaped, with six new directors, and Redstone is repeating her vow to consider new bids from potential buyers.
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