Les Moonves, the longtime CEO and Chairman of CBS, has stepped down amid numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations, the company announced Sunday.
As part of a settlement approved by the CBS Board of Directors, $20 million will be deducted from Moonves’ severance pay and donated to “organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace,” a company statement said.
It’s not clear what Moonves’ severance pay will be, but the company said he “will not receive any severance benefits at this time (other than certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits).”
In addition, any future payments to Moonves will depend on the results of an independent investigation and subsequent Board evaluation of the accusations made against him.
Moonves, who has been rumored to be on his way out since at least April as CBS and Viacom have been discussing a possible merger, was first publicly accused of sexual assault and harassment in a July article published in the New Yorker. On Sunday, the New Yorker published another article in which six more women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct over the past 30 years.
Some of the allegations include forcing women to perform oral sex on him and preventing career advancement when his advances were turned down.
Moonves, 68, was the CEO of CBS for 15 years and is credited with turning the once-struggling network around to become one of the most-watched in television.
Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello will serve as President and Acting CEO while the Board conducts searches for a permanent replacement of Moonves.
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