CBS’ Leslie Moonves will stay on as advisor after resigning as CEO over sexual harassment complaints
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is the latest and most powerful media personality or executive to resign over sexual allegations. However, he will continue working as an advisor to the media network for a “smooth transition.”
Hours after CBS announced Moonves’s resignation, CBS news anchor Norah O’Donnell stated on Monday’s This Morning show, “The most powerful media executive in America has now resigned in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and he’s my boss – or was my boss. For me, it’s been another sleepless night… this pain that women feel; the courage that it takes for women to come forward and talk about this.”
The resignation came after six women accused Moonves of sexual harassment in an eye-opening investigation by the New Yorker. The New Yorker story illustrated alleged sexual misconduct Moonves has committed since the 1980s. One woman said Moonves sexually intimated her by exposing himself. Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, Moonves’ colleague in the 1980s, said he physically forced her head down to his exposed penis to perform oral sex. He had secluded her by asking her to eat lunch out of the Lorimar-Telepictures studio that day.
While USA TODAY reports Moonves is exiting without a severance package, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing revealed that Moonves will “perform transition advisory services for the Company for one year following his resignation… in order to provide for a smooth transition of his duties.” The filing also states that Moonves will be privy to office and security services for two years after his resignation to assist in a “smooth transition.”
In the wake of Moonves’ resignation, the CBS network announced it will donate a total of $20 million to organizations that work and support the #MeToo movement. Those funds will come directly from Moonves’ severance package.
Joseph Lanniello, CBS’ veteran COO, has been appointed as acting CEO until the network announces a new permanent CEO.