Former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons has been named CBS’ interim chairman, in an appointment that the board approved unanimously, the company said.
“Dick Parsons has a combination of deep industry knowledge and unmatched corporate and board experience,” Candace Beinecke, Chair of CBS’ Nominating and Governance Committee, in a statement. “We are fortunate to have Dick in this leadership role.
Parsons was an advisor to CBS’ controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, as she navigated her bruising battle with Les Moonves over control of the media company. The former CEO has since resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct from a dozen women.
The Brooklyn-bred lawyer Parsons has had career stints working for the Rockefeller family and turning around New York’s Dime Savings Bank. He’s known for his affability and diplomatic skills.
Parsons survived the disastrous AOL-Time Warner merger of 2000. He took over the helm of the company in 2002 and is credited with stabilizing the company’s stock, and shedding one of it’s slower-growing divisions, Warner Music. He resigned after a five-year stint running the media conglomerate, handing over the reins to Jeff Bewkes.
In 2009, the politically connected Parsons took over as chairman of Citigroup, which had received two financial bailouts from the government and was losing billions of dollars. During the crisis, he shuttled between New York and Washington to smooth relations with regulators and rebuild confidence in the bank.
Later in his career, Parsons stepped in to managed the troubled L.A. Clippers organization as its interim CEO, as the league forced owner Donald Sterling to sell the team.
CBS said Bruce Gordon and William Cohen, who have served as directors since CBS became a stand-alone public company in 2006, have decided to step down from their posts to focus on other personal and professional priorities.