CBS Acting CEO Joe Ianniello Pledges "Safe and Positive Working Environment"

Courtesy of CBS
Joseph Ianniello

A day after the shocking departure of Leslie Moonves was announced, the interim boss seeks to calm the troops.

Joe Ianniello began his tenure as president and acting CEO of CBS by sending out a memo on Monday morning that sought to both rally and calm the company's employees after the shocking departure of longtime chief executive Leslie Moonves, which was announced Sunday.

"I am honored to have this responsibility, and I’m excited to take on a greater role," he wrote in the memo sent to CBS employees on Monday morning. "I have been with this Company for 21 years, and I look forward to providing continuity and stability, while at the same time fostering our culture of innovation."

Without directly addressing the accusations of sexual harassment and assault that felled Moonves, Ianniello talked about the importance of the company's culture.

"Never has it been more important for us to make it abundantly clear that CBS has a steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion and a safe and positive working environment," he said. "This is an integral part of our growth plan as together we unlock the immense talents across our entire employee base."

He called Moonves' departure, which for now comes with no severance pending the results of an outside investigation, "a major transition for all of us."

But, Ianniello suggested that the company is positioned to succeed without its longtime leader. "As you all know, there is amazing work going on across the Company, and I feel confident we have the best people in the business to continue building on our outstanding success," he said.

Laying out a strategy for the company more broadly, he said that CBS is content-first. "At the heart of CBS’ ongoing success is its content, and it’s where our focus must remain," he said. "We now spend $7 billion a year on programming, which is on par with some of the largest companies in our industry. Looking ahead, as consumption continues to evolve, so will we. But content will always be at the core of our Company."

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