Les Moonves may soon be out at CBS, according to a new report published by CNBC. The embattled CEO, who has been accused of sexual harassment by six women, is in negotiations to step down as chairman of the CBS corporation.
Moonves is expected to walk away with an exit package valued upwards of $100 million. CBS COO Joe Ianniello would serve as Moonves’ interim replacement.
The harassment allegations against Moonves first came to light in July. In a New Yorker story by Rowan Farrow, six women — including actress Ileana Douglas — accused Moonves of touching and kissing them without their consent. Several of the women said they believe that refusing Moonves’ advances hurt their careers in Hollywood. Moonves responded with a statement admitting that he “may have made some women uncomfortable” throughout his career, but insisting that he “never misused [his] position” at CBS.
Moonves has worked as a CBS executive for more than two decades, joining the network in 1995 as president of CBS Entertainment. He was promoted to chairman and CEO of CBS in 2003. He is married to Julie Chen, who hosts Big Brother and The Talk for CBS; Chen issued a statement of support for her husband shortly after the allegations began to make headlines.