CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves has left the broadcaster after claims he sexually harassed several women decades ago.
Moonves’ departure is effective immediately. Long-time CBS chief executive Joseph Ianniello will replace him as president and acting CEO as the search for a permanent chief begins. Ianniello, who joined CBS in 1997, most recently served as chief operating officer and has long been Moonves’ choice as his replacement.
Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million to one or more organisations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace.
The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from any severance benefits that may be due Moonves following the Board’s ongoing independent investigation led by Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton. Moonves will not receive any severance benefits at this time. Other payment could be made after an investigation into the allegations is completed is evaluated by the board, the company said.
As part of the agreement, six new independent directors were elected to the CBS board, replacing six current directors.