Leslie Moonves to Step Down as CBS CEO Amid Misconduct Claims

Les Moonves
Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Leslie Moonves attends the Cannes Lions 2016 on June 23, 2016 in Cannes, France.

Embattled CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who had run the company since 2003, is stepping down as the leader of the media conglomerate amid more sexual misconduct claims made in The New Yorker, according to CNN's Brian Stelter and CNBC. 

The final details are being worked out and a settlement is expected to be announced Monday (Sept. 10).

CBS has, in fact, been the most-watched network for the past 10 years, and Moonves, 68, has been instrumental in the success of David Letterman, James Corden, Stephen Colbert and even Howard Stern. But multiple on the record claims of misconduct and harassment helped spur the decision for the network chief to step down from a role he has held for more than a decade. 

Moonves, in his July 27 addressing the initial Ronan Farrow story, had said, "I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected -- and abided by the principle -- that 'no' means 'no.'"

Another six women accused Moonves of sexual harassment, sexual assault and violence in a new piece by Farrow that was published by The New Yorker on Sunday morning. 

The executive has successfully brought a revamped Star Trek series to CBS All Access, a streaming service created under his watch, and he’s aiming to do the same with a new version of The Twilight Zone

Moonves is one of the most powerful and well-known executives in Hollywood. Last year he received a compensation package from CBS of $69.33 million and in 2016 was paid $69.6 million.

Moonves began his entertainment career at Bucknell University where he studied pre-med and Spanish and also acted in some plays before getting a few roles on TV shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and Cannon after graduating in 1971.

After switching to the business end of entertainment, he rose quickly at a variety of companies, including a stint as vp of movies and mini-series at 20th Century Fox Television.

He joined Lorimar in 1985 and was named president within five years before jumping to Warner Bros. Television, where he was named CEO in 1993.

Moonves joined CBS in 1995 and has been with the company since that time. 

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.


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