There is quite a lot happening at CBS Corp. (CBS). The media giant’s board is reportedly in negotiation with CEO Les Moonves over the terms of his departure but is yet to reach a final decision with regards to his severance payment. When Moonves leaves, COO Joe Ianniello will take over as interim CEO.
Under his contract, Mooves is entitled to a $180 million severance payment but the board is considering a $100 million package comprised fully of CBS stock along with the rights to reduce the payment if the harassment claims against the CEO are proved.
However, this proposed payment has already come under criticism and the board could face another lawsuit from shareholders if it pays its executive more than required to get him to leave.
Moonves is credited with transforming CBS into a top player in the entertainment industry over his service of more than 20 years. Under his leadership, CBS delivered several hit shows such as CSI, Everybody Loves Raymond and The Big Bang Theory.
On the flip side, some reports have termed him vindictive and have accused him of trying to ruin singer Janet Jackson’s career after a wardrobe malfunction on her part led to CBS being handed a fine.
Meanwhile, CBS is said to be attempting another settlement with its controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and National Amusements Inc. over a lawsuit regarding the control of the company. CBS reportedly has been looking to free itself from its controlling shareholder who in turn has been pushing for a merger with Viacom Inc. (VIAB).
As per the settlement, CBS would stop trying to take away its major shareholder’s voting power while National Amusements would put the CBS-Viacom merger plans on hold for the near future.
CBS’ stock is up more than 4% as of 10:50 am ET.
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