- CBS’ controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is looking for a candidate to replace CEO Les Moonves, according to an NBC News report.
- The CBS board has hired multiple law firms to investigate recent sexual-harassment allegations against Moonves.
- Moonves, 68, has been allowed to stay in his position as chief executive for the time being.
The investigation into sexual-harassment allegations against CBS CEO Les Moonves is just getting started, but it looks as if the company’s controlling shareholder has little faith the 68-year-old will be vindicated.
According to NBC News, CBS’ controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is already asking around about a possible replacement for Moonves, who has worked at the company for 23 years.
Two people close to Redstone, who asked to remain anonymous since they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter, told the outlet she had been asking people to suggest candidates who could run the network.
One executive who spoke with NBC News said Richard Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner, was helping come up with a list of possible replacements for Moonves.
Business Insider contacted CBS, its parent company National Amusements, and representatives for Parsons on Thursday morning but did not immediately receive a response.
Representatives for all three declined to comment to NBC News, according to the original report.
Moonves has been allowed to stay in his position while law firms hired by CBS investigate the allegations made in a New Yorker exposé earlier this month.
Six women came forward in the report, including four who said Moonves had forcibly touched or kissed them.
The other two accused the executive of sexual misconduct and harassment.
Moonves partially admitted to misbehavior in a statement to the magazine.
“I recognise that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” he said. “Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected – and abided by the principle – that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
Redstone and Moonves have had bad blood recently over Redstone’s plans to merge CBS with her other family-owned company, Viacom.
The two disagreed over who would act as Moonves’ deputy if the two companies were merged. Sources familiar with the deal told CNBC in April that Redstone was likely to replace Moonves if the two companies merged because of this disagreement.
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