Moonves Tells Agenda: “It’s Far From Over” (Boehme quoted)

Stephanie Forshee & Jennifer Williams-Alvarez – Agenda – a Financial Times Service – December 18, 2018

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr.

Nearly five months after the CBS directors began an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Leslie Moonves, the board has determined that the former chairman and CEO will not get his $120 million severance.

Moonves tells Agenda that this issue is “far from over,” however.

“How quickly the board forgets the job I did for CBS. They were a rudderless ship when I went there, when I took over,” Moonves says. The former CEO believes that the board will review his years of service and the company’s financial performance under his leadership and that the parties will “be able to settle this amicably.”

“I think the board will do the right thing, ultimately,” Moonves says.

He says he is undecided on whether he plans to pursue arbitration, an option provided for in his Sept. 9 separation agreement. “I don’t know. That’s a hard thing to answer at this point,” Moonves says, adding, “it’s been discussed.”

. . .

While governance experts think CBS’s board made the right call, some question whether it should have come to this point. Donna Boehme, principal at consulting firm Compliance Strategists and former group compliance and ethics officer for BP, questions why it took the report from The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow to prompt the board to act.

“Board members who learned of the problem could have exhibited some ethical leadership by immediately commencing an internal investigation and managing the problem outside the glare of media headlines, rather than allow the company to suffer such significant reputational and brand damage,” Boehme says in an e-mail to Agenda.

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This article first appeared on Agenda – a Financial Times Service.

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