- Former CBS CEO Les Moonves will fight CBS over its decision to deny him $US120 million severance, CBS said in an SEC filing on Thursday.
- The CBS board of directors denied Moonves the severance in December after concluding that he violated company policies and his contract, and failed to fully cooperate with its investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Moonves.
- A dozen women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct in New Yorker investigations published in August and September.
The former CEO of CBS, Les Moonves, is challenging the company’s decision to deny him a $US120 million severance in the wake of a dozen sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Moonves notified CBS of his “election to demand binding arbitration” regarding the denial of his severance on Wednesday, according to an SEC filing.
The next step is for CBS and Moonves to agree on an arbitrator through the American Arbitration Association, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The CBS board of directors denied Moonves’ severance in December after concluding that he violated company policies and his employment contract, and failed to fully cooperate with the investigation into the misconduct claims.
“We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation,” the board said in a statement last month. “Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company.”
Moonves was accused by a dozen women of sexual misconduct in two New Yorker investigations published in August and September. Moonves stepped down from his position as CEO at CBS in September following the reports.
Moonves had a CBS employee “on call” to perform oral sex, according to The New York Times, which reviewed a report from lawyers investigating the misconduct claims in December. The report said that a number of employees knew of this but “believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination” because of it, according to The Times.
Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman in the report, according to the Times, but described the acts as consensual. Moonves has denied that any of the allegations against him were nonconsensual.
The Times said the report also noted that Moonves “received oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity.”
Moonves was one of the highest-paid CEOs in the US and is worth $US700 million, according to Forbes, thanks to a compensation package of cash, restricted shares, and stock options worth $US57 million in 2014.
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