Former chairman CEO Les Moonves left CBS under a rather dark cloud amid sexual misconduct allegations, and now the company has made a call on the severance package he was expecting.
As reported by Deadline, on Monday CBS announced that Moonves would not be getting a single penny of his $120 million severance package.
“The Board of Directors of CBS has completed its investigation of former Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, CBS News, and cultural issues at CBS,” the company said in a statement Monday. “With regard to Mr. Moonves, we have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company.”
Of course, Moonves is expected to explore all his legal options with regard to forcing the company to make the payout.
The decision has surprised some given the disclosures from a draft of an internal report obtained by the New York Times. The report detailed that Moonves had destroyed evidence in the case and further misled investigators in other ways in his attempts to protect his reputation and the payout he was supposed to receive. In the report, investigators said they had substantiated numerous accusations of sexual misconduct.
In the report, CBS also detailed that they had uncovered numerous incidents of “improper and unprofessional conduct,” and added that the investigation had resulted in a realization that the company’s historical policies, practices, and structures don’t do enough to prevent harassment.
Furthermore, they concluded that the resources devoted to CBS’s human resources department, to training and development, and to diversity and inclusion initiatives have been inadequate, particularly considering the vast size of the company. Previous incidents were uncovered in which employees alleged that HR “did not hold high performers accountable for their conduct and protect employees from retaliation.”
Following Moonves’ departure, the new board of directors consists of six new members, and the new management has placed specific emphasis on making massive changes to provide employees with a more friendly work environment. One of those steps they have taken is to employ a new chief people officer, whose job it is to revamp the HR department to better be able to deal with complaints against higher level staff.
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