Les Moonves left CBS in September with a net worth of $700 million. Now, he won't get a dime of his $120 million severance

Getty ImagesLes Moonves’ net worth is an estimated $US700 million.

Leslie Moonves, former CEO and Chairman of CBS Corporation who left the company in September after a wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations, will not receive any of his $US120 million severance, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Investigators concluded that CBS had grounds to terminate Mr. Moonves for violating company policies and intentionally not cooperating with the investigation, the CBS board of directors said in a statement obtained by the Journal.

Lawyers for the network previously said Moonves should not receive his severance because he “destroyed evidence and misled investigators” as he faced multiple sexual misconduct allegations, according to the New York Times.

The departure of Moonves from the company came after a report by The New Yorker detailing accusations against the media executive from six women. This followed CBS hiring multiple law firms to launch an investigation against Moonves in August, after six other women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct or harassment. Moonves has denied the allegations against him.

Moonves was one of the highest-paid CEOs in the US, thanks to a compensation package of cash, restricted shares and stock options worth $US57 million in 2014, Forbes reported. He’s worth an estimated $US700 million.

CNBC had previously reported that the board was considering giving him a $US100 million exit package, but CBS said in a statement that any severance benefits would be pending the results of an independent investigation.

Here’s how Moonves made his $US700 fortune.


Moonves worked as an actor in the 1970s, with small roles in TV series including “Gemini Man” in 1976 and “The Six Million Dollar Man” in 1977.

NBC Universal

Source: IMDb


He went on to take over Lorimar Television in 1989, which then merged with Warner Bros. Television.

Source: CNN Money


In the early 1990s, Moonves developed hit TV shows including “ER” and “Friends” as president of Warner Bros.

Source: Money


He moved to CBS in 1995 as president of CBS Entertainment, where he helped bring in new talent including Bill Cosby.

Source: Money


He was promoted to CEO of CBS Television in 1998 and became Chairman and CEO in 2006.

Source: Money


During his time at the network, Moonves launched popular shows such as “Survivor” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

Getty Images

Source: CNN Money


CBS also grew its success in comedy under Moonves, with “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

Getty ImagesMoonves with actress Patricia Heaton, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone and actor Ray Romano at the ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ series wrap party in 2005.

Source: CNN Money


Forbes classified him as the 15th richest Hollywood power broker in its 2015 ranking.

Getty ImagesMoonves and his wife at the 89th Annual Academy Awards in 2017.

Source: Forbes


In 2016, Moonves made $US69.6 million, and he’s made at least $US50 million each year since 2010, according to The Wrap.

Getty ImagesMoonves at a 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Source: The Wrap


Moonves made $US69.3 million in 2017, making him the highest-paid Hollywood executive.

Source: The Wrap


That’s $US20 million more than the earnings of Jeff Bewkes, the CEO of Time Warner, who made $US49 million in 2017.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty ImagesTime Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

Source: The Wrap


Moonves lives with his wife in a 10,000 square foot Beverly Hills mansion he bought for $US14 million in 2006.

Source: Money


The home includes a $US500,000 personal screening room paid for by CBS, according to Crain’s New York Business.

Source: Crain’s New York Business


Moonves also bought a $US28 million Malibu beach home from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2014.

Shutterstock/Cyoung015

Source: Business Insider

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.