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Les Moonves Forfeited Most of 2018 Earnings, New CBS Head Joe Ianniello Got $5 Million Pay Bump

Moonves stepped down as CEO last fall

Leslie Moonves took a big hit in his compensation after being forced to resign as CEO of CBS last year.

Moonves, who stepped down in September following multiple sexual misconduct accusations against him, forfeited $34.5 million of his $42.5 million in stock awards as part of his separation agreement, according to the company’s proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

That took his total compensation down to about $12.5 million for the year, including his salary and pension.

President and acting CEO Joe Ianniello saw his take-home pay rise in 2018 by $5 million to $27 million. Ianniello’s base salary was $2.5 million in 2018, but his stock awards jumped to $7.3 million (from $4.2 million), and his option awards increased from $2.8 million to $4.9 million.

Christina Spade earned $2 million in her first year as CFO, and chief legal counsel Lawrence Tu was paid $8.9 million in 2018, up from $8.1 million.

Moonves exited after two separate New Yorker reports in which 12 women accused the longtime media mogul of sexual harassment. He was denied a severance package of $120 million following an independent investigation into his behavior and the company’s board concluded that he should be “fired for cause.” Moonves, who has maintained his innocence, is pursuing arbitration.

Moonves pulled in $69.3 million in 2017, which made him the highest paid executive in show business.