CBS Corporation and Les Moonves`s Fall from Grace

CBS Corporation and Les Moonves`s Fall from Grace
Case Code: HROB239
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: 2018-19
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Public company
Industry: Media
Countries: United States
Themes: Gender and Leadership, HR Policy
CBS Corporation and Les Moonves`s Fall from Grace
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case chronicles the rise and fall of Les Moonves (Moonves), Chairman and CEO of US-based media conglomerate CBS Corporation (CBS). In July 2018, an article published in The New Yorker accused Moonves of sexual misconduct. The article detailed the ordeal of six women who accused Moonves of sexual harassment and how he retaliated against them when they resisted his advances. The issue gained momentum with organizations supporting #Metoo widely criticizing CBS’s culture and the board’s failure to handle the issue. Further, there was much outrage when the CEO accused of such grave misconduct was being handed out a golden parachute. With more allegations surfacing against Moonves lead to his subsequent ouster from the company.

The case ends with a discussion on how did CEO manage to avoid the consequences of sexual misconduct allegations for so long? Have corporate boards failed to carry out their responsibilities to build a healthy organizational culture, ensuring the safety for women employees and, above all, putting a check on top executives? Can such issues be controlled by introducing more stringent clauses in employment contracts for top executives in corporations?


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand issues and challenges related to sexual misconduct at the workplace that manifest as sexual harassment.
  • Understand the characteristics of a perpetrator.
  • Explore the ways the board could have handled the situation.
  • Analyze how HR policies in organizations would evolve in the #MeToo era.



CBS Corporation; Les Moonves ; Leadership; Sexual misconduct; MeToo; gender inequality; Role of Board

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