This is a surprise. CBS just announced that CEO Les Moonves, who’s 65, will stay through June 30, 2019, a two-year extension from the deal made two years ago. In 2019, Moonves will serve as “executive advisor” for five years, the company says, with an option to create a production company “under CBS’s auspices.”
The new terms should assure Wall Street and business partners that there’ll be stability at the broadcast company at a time when many wonder about the health of CBS’ 91-year-old owner Sumner Redstone, who also controls Viacom. CBS shares are up more than 100% since early 1998, when Moonves was named president and CEO of CBS Television, though they’re down about 10% over the past 12 months.
Moonves’ salary will remain at its current level, the company says. He’ll also continue to collect an annual performance-based bonus as well as equity “that further ties the value of the agreement to the performance of the Company’s stock.” His compensation package came to $66.9 million in 2013, making him one of the highest-paid executives in media.