Independent directors of CBS Corp.'s board are discussing a potential exit plan for company Chairman, President and CEO Leslie Moonves amid ongoing efforts to settle a corporate governance battle with majority shareholder National Amusements Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 6, citing sources familiar with the details.
The company would reportedly tap COO Joe Ianniello as interim chief executive while it looks for a permanent replacement, the sources said. In August, CBS' board hired two law firms to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against Moonves.
Meanwhile, according to a Sept. 6 report by CNBC.com, the board is offering $100 million in stock as an exit package to Moonves. The board is also reportedly discussing an option to alter the severance package if allegations of sexual misconduct against Moonves are proved correct.
The executive, however, will reportedly receive nearly $180 million in severance and a production deal under his current contract. Representatives from CBS declined to comment.
Also, the independent directors are seeking assurances that the media company will be able to pursue deals without facing interference by the controlling shareholder. The issues being discussed include terms of the Redstone family trust, which limit the ability of CBS and Viacom Inc. to be acquired by a larger company after the death of Sumner Redstone.