Les Moonves to fight CBS Corp. for $120 million severance in arbitration

By Lex Haris

/ CBS News

Former CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves has told the company that he has demanded "binding arbitration" following the board's determination that he was fired "for cause" and not entitled to receive a severance payment valued at $120 million, according to a filing with the SEC published Thursday morning.

Moonves' employment was terminated on September 9, 2018 following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. The CBS board had hired two outside law firms to investigate. On December 17, the board released a statement that said Moonves had breached his employment contract and would not receive severance.

Former CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves CBS Corp.

Under Moonves' separation agreement, he had 30 days following the board's decision to decide whether to seek arbitration. Moonves has previously denied any wrongdoing.

In its December statement, the board said it made its decision following the completion of a months-long investigation into allegations of harassment and assault against Moonves and cultural issues throughout CBS and CBS News.

"We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company's investigation," the board said.

In a short SEC filing on Thursday, CBS noted the Board's decision in December, and said: "On January 16, 2019, Mr. Moonves notified the Company of his election to demand binding arbitration with respect to this matter."

An attorney for Moonves did not respond to a request for comment.

First published on January 17, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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