CBS negotiating Moonves' exit and Viacom merger standstill

CBS Corp. and Shari Redstone near settlement of legal dispute, discuss exit for CEO Les Moonves

As reported by CNBC, citing people familiar with the negotiations, the exit package will be made up nearly entirely of CBS stock.

This week CBS's board announced it has appointed two legal firms to look into the allegations brought against Moonves.

The New Yorker reported that Moonves denied "any characterization of 'sexual assault, ' intimidation, or retaliatory action".

Media company CBS Corp's board is in settlement talks with Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves and has offered about $100 million exit package, CNBC reported https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/06/cbs-board-in-negotiations-for-ceo-moonves-exit-f r o m - t h e - c o m p a n y - s o u r c e s. h t m l, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

Moonves, who has remained in charge despite the allegations against him, signed an employment contract in May 2017 that provides for a severance package worth almost $180 million if he is removed without cause.

Redstone is president of National Amusements, which is a controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom.

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CBS chief Les Moonves is negotiating with independent directors of CBS' board for a possible exit.

There is also some symmetry here too as the besieged Moonves exited as a Commissioners for the Anita Hill-led Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace on August 1, not long after the Ronan Farrow article on him was published.

That investigation is ongoing and could impact Moonves' severance, the sources said. It was not immediately clear if this could mean Moonves receives less than $100 million or anything at all.

Even more rudely, the network wants the right to take back some of that money if it turns out that Moonves committed even more sexual misconduct.

"There's an established legal doctrine that says you can potentially be sued for overpaying your CEO to go away", said Eric Talley, a Columbia Law School corporate governance professor.

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