Here’s How Many Millions Les Moonves Made During His Tenure as CBS CEO

Just-ousted CEO could still get $120 million in severance, pending investigation into sexual misconduct accusations

Last Updated: September 10, 2018 @ 1:27 PM

Leslie Moonves, who resigned from as CEO of CBS Sunday night in the wake of numerous sexual misconduct accusations, has been one of the highest-paid executives in media.

Moonves’ tenure as CEO began in 2006, and during that time he has earned more than $650 million in compensation, according to TheWrap’s annual executive compensation surveys, and a search through the company’s annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Here is how each year breaks down for Moonves:

  • 2017: $69.3 million
  • 2016: $69.9 million
  • 2015: $56.8 million
  • 2014: $57.2 million
  • 2013: $66.9 million
  • 2012: $62.2 million
  • 2011: $69.9 million
  • 2010: $57.7 million
  • 2009: $43.2 million
  • 2008: $32 million
  • 2007: $36.8 million
  • 2006: $28.6 million

The announcement of Moonves’ resignation Sunday came after a second New Yorker report, which published accusations of six women accusing Moonves of sexual harassment or assault. Sunday’s report followed an earlier New Yorker story in late July, where six different women accused Moonves of sexual harassment. Four women accused the CEO of forcible touching and kissing them, and two said the media exec threatened to derail their careers. All six women said they feared speaking out would lead to retaliation, according to the story, written by Ronan Farrow.

“Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am,” Moonves said in a statement issued late Sunday, adding that he was “deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.”

The company had hired two firms to investigate accusations by six previous women in a July story in the magazine.

Moonves could still receive as much as $120 million in severance.

In a joint release with National Amusements, which controls roughly 80 percent of the voting power in CBS, the company said that Moonves will not receive a severance package “at this time,” and that he and CBS would donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace. But on Monday, CBS laid out a pathway for how would handle any severance package for Moonves.

In its 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CBS Corp. said it would place $120 million in a grantor trust, while an independent investigation looks into the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the now-former CBS chief. Two law firms — Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton — were hired to investigate the accusations, as well as cultural issues at CBS News and “all levels of CBS.”

“In the event the Board determines that the Company is entitled to terminate Mr. Moonves’s employment for cause under his employment agreement and Mr. Moonves does not demand arbitration with respect to such determination, the assets of the grantor trust will be distributed to the Company and the Company will have no further obligations to Mr. Moonves,” the company said in the filing.

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