Les Moonves issued a statement this evening, saying he is “deeply saddened” to be leaving CBS.
The media company’s long-time chief executive claims the allegations against him, made by a dozen women in two separate New Yorker stories, are “untrue” and “not consistent with who I am.” Still, he and the company he formerly ran just made a $20 million donation to support the #MeToo movement.
Moonves called it a privilege to lead CBS’s transformation from struggling broadcast network to global media company and acknowledged the contributions of the company’s staff.
“Effective immediately I will no longer be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS,” Moonves wrote. “I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.”
The end had been predicted for days, but negotiations took on a new urgency and intensity after The New Yorker published a follow-on report by Ronan Farrow detailing new allegations by six women spanning the 1980s to the 2000s. These fresh accounts of sexual misconduct include claims that Moonves forced women to perform oral sex on him and that he exposed himself to them without their consent.
Here’s Moonves’ statement:
For the past 24 years it has been an incredible privilege to lead CBS’s renaissance and transformation into a leading global media company. The best part of this journey has been working alongside the dedicated and talented people in this company. Together, we built CBS into a destination where the best in the business come to work and succeed.
Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am. Effective immediately I will no longer be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CBS.
I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.
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