Longtime CBS Communications Exec Gil Schwartz Retiring

He has been with CBS since 1996, serving as chief communications officer for the company since 2006.
Courtesy of CBS
Gil Schwartz

Gil Schwartz, chief communications officer for CBS and a longtime executive for the company, is retiring.

Schwartz on Thursday sent a memo to CBS staff saying he intends to step down Nov. 1.

"I had the option of stepping away early this past summer, but given the exigencies of corporate life at that juncture, I elected to stay in place for a while. Now seems like a much more appropriate time to move on," the exec wrote. "The corporation is establishing a new direction, full of hope and promise. And I still have a lot of writing to do, in an atmosphere of perhaps some greater serenity."

Schwartz joined CBS in 1996 as senior vp communications after 14 years with Westinghouse Broadcasting. He has been CBS Corp.'s chief communications officer and executive vp since 2006. In 2014, he also was named chief communications officer and senior executive vp of CBS Interactive.

Schwartz worked closely with recently ousted CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves, joining the company a year after Moonves became president of CBS Entertainment. The company on Monday tapped former AOL Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons as interim chairman.

Outside CBS, Schwartz also had a long-running column in Fortune magazine (and Esquire before that) and has written a number of novels under the pen name Stanley Bing — hence the reference to having "a lot of writing to do" in his memo.

The full text of Schwartz's memo is below.

This note is to let you all know that, effective November 1, I will be retiring from CBS.

As fans of arcane SEC filings have noted, I had the option of stepping away early this past summer, but given the exigencies of corporate life at that juncture, I elected to stay in place for a while. Now seems like a much more appropriate time to move on. The corporation is establishing a new direction, full of hope and promise. And I still have a lot of writing to do, in an atmosphere of perhaps some greater serenity.

I am also very happy to say that I leave our lean, focused Communications department in wonderful shape. Under the guidance of Dana in New York and Chris in L.A., with seasoned pros like Kelli at Corporate, Christa at News, Jen at Sports, Johanna at Showtime, Susan at Interactive, Adam at S&S and Mike at our Television Stations, and with Photo firing on all cylinders under Gail's steady hand, I know the important messages that make us strong will keep on coming through the crazy, noisy media environment loud and clear.

I started at this job back when we all worked on dedicated word processors and the phrase "I'll get back to you tomorrow" was considered a rapid response. Today, it is not uncommon for reporters to call after they post a story to see if they need to make any corrections. But, as the world has changed, so have we, and I believe this department continues to define excellence in what we do. I'm very proud of that and always will be, and of all of you.

So now, after a millennial lifetime at this company, I take my leave, not without a certain heaviness of heart, I do admit, but with a new and not unwelcome lightness in my step as well.

Thanks, everyone. Keep up the great work.

Gil