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


Moonves at CBS

Moonves was instrumental in crafting a major turnaround in CBS. He brought in sensational shows such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Survivor, and CSI, which increased viewership and were seen as the cornerstones for the company’s turnaround..

Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

In July 2018, however, reports started doing the rounds that Ronan Farrow (Ronan), the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist whose reporting on Harvey Weinstein helped fell the Hollywood mogul and shape up the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, was all set to expose Moonves for inappropriately touching women that had occurred more than 20 years ago, and to make various other claims..

Reactions to The Revelations

Moonves did not deny all the charges. Rather, in a statement to NY, he asserted, “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances..

Negotiating a Way out

On September 6, 2018, negotiations began between the CBS board and Moonves on his potential departure as CEO from the network. Reportedly, Joe Ianniello, COO, CBS Corp., was to replace Moonves. During the investigation..

More Allegations

On September 9, 2018, amid the negotiations and investigations, fresh accusations surfaced from six more women and were brought into the limelight by NY again. Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb (Phyllis), Jessica Pallingston..

Ouster and Denial of Severance Pay

On September 9, 2018, hours after the new allegations surfaced, Moonves resigned from CBS. The resignation reportedly came into effect immediately, with no severance benefits being paid to Moonves then. News also came in that CBS and Moonves would donate US$20 million..

Time to Turn The Page

In December 2018, CBS started surveying its employees on workplace culture and was gearing up to roll out new programs to deal with workplace harassment issues. Reportedly, an anonymous survey was sent through email to employees asking them to provide frank and honest feedback on their experiences to build a stronger CBS..

Moonves’ Comeback Move

Months after ouster, Moonves launched his new entertainment venture. In February 2019, Moonves started a company named Moon Rise Unlimited-a limited liability company that was supposed to operate in “entertainment services”..


Exhibit I: Executive Compensation of Moonves (2008-2017)
Exhibit II: A Glimpse of Moonves’s Potential Payment (As per CBS’ employment Contract)
Exhibit III: CBS Announcement Denying Moonves’s Severance
Exhibit IV: Registration of Moon Rise Production LLC
Exhibit V: Registration of Moon Rise Technologies LLC

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