CBS rises as it reportedly begins settlement talks with embattled CEO Les Moonves

Getty / Drew AngererLes Moonves, chief executive of CBS.

After initially dropping ahead of the open, shares of CBS rose about 0.5% Thursday after CNBC reported the broadcaster was in settlement talks with CEO Les Moonves for his exit from the company following sexual-misconduct allegations brought against him by six women.

If the talks are successful, Moonves’ right-hand man, COO Joe Ianniello, will serve as interim CEO, CNBC reported, citing people close to the negotiations.

A sticking point is Moonves’ exit package, according to the report. While his contract would entitle him a golden parachute of up to $US180 million, the board is reportedly offering him about $US100 million given the ongoing investigation into sexual harassment claims against him. The board is also reportedly seeking the right to claw back a portion of that package depending on the findings of the investigation.

Moonves’ potential exit from CBS comes at a time of twin sources of turmoil for the company. CBS’ stock is down 11% this year and has lost nearly a third of its value since hitting a high of $US70 in April 2017.

CBS declined to comment to CNBC and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Nathan McAlone contributed to this report.

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