CBS board in negotiations for CEO Moonves exit from the company

CBS board in negotiations for CEO Moonves exit from the company

These discussions are occurring as the company and its controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and National Amusements Inc are also hammering out a settlement to a legal dispute over the control of CBS.

Mr. Moonves, who faces an ongoing investigation into numerous allegations of sexual harassment, has been talking to the board about an exit that would include a payout for far less than the $180 million stipulated in his employment agreement, according to three unnamed sources who spoke to the Times. The number could not be independently verified. How dare they! After all, as Moonves told those dirt-digging reporters at The New Yorker that he always respected the word "no" and, sure, "there were times decades ago when [he] may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances", but who hasn't?

The CBS board has hired two outside law firms to conduct an independent investigation into the claims against Moonves, as well as other issues throughout CBS and CBS News. If granted, CBS could be free to pursue a sale.

The company's shares fell almost 2 percent to $51.95 in premarket trading on Thursday.

If Moonves exits the company, Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello will temporarily assume his position.

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As part of the settlement talks, Moonves would leave with $100 million - $10 million in cash and $90 million in CBS stock.

As of Wednesday's close, CBS stock had risen by more than 120 percent from a close of $24.04 on December 30, 2005, a day before the company split. Time's Up included a link to its own Go Fund Me page, urging CBS leaders to "use this money to provide power and justice to victims of abuse".

CBS declined to comment to CNBC and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. CBS shares were up decisively on Thursday.

Moonves received a total compensation of $69.33 million in 2017, making him one of the highest paid USA executive.

Time's Up's statement follows reports Wednesday and Thursday that CBS and parent company National Amusements are negotiating an end to their legal battle over control of the media company - one that could see Moonves step down as CEO.

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