Embattled CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, who has run the company since 2003, will keep his role as an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct gets underway. At least that appears to be what was decided by the board of directors after a meeting on Monday.
The company said in a statement, “Its Board of Directors is in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation. No other action was taken on this matter at today’s board meeting. Additionally, the Board determined to postpone CBS Corporation’s 2018 annual meeting of stockholders that was previously scheduled to be held on August 10, 2018.”
The media conglomerate met following sexual misconduct claims made by six women in Ronan Farrow’s exposé in The New Yorker, which was published Friday.
Wall Street analysts have credited Moonves with overseeing CBS’ creative and financial success for more than a decade. He is one of the most powerful and best-known executives in Hollywood. Moonves’ CBS compensation package for 2017 amounted to $69.3 million, following his earning $69.6 million in 2016.
On Friday, the CBS board said ahead of the New Yorker story that “[a]ll allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously. The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action.”
In his own statement in response to the report, Moonves said, “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”