CBS Acting Chief Joe Ianniello Will Earn At Least $23 Million Through Year-End

Joe Ianniello
Joe Ianniello, former ViacomCBS acting CEO Courtesy of CBS

In an SEC filing made public Friday, CBS Corp. said acting CEO Joe Ianniello, whose contract was extended this week though the end of 2019, will get at least $23 million in total compensation for staying in the role.

The terms spelled out in the filing are not a significant change from what had already been stipulated by the five-year contract Ianniello signed in 2017.

The decision on April 23 by the CBS board to extend Ianniello’s contract and suspend the search for a permanent CEO has been widely interpreted as a signal that on-again, off-again merger talks with Viacom could soon resume.

In 2018, Ianniello received $27.4 million in total compensation. He stepped in as interim CEO when longtime chief Les Moonves left the company last September after a wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations.

Ianniello’s new pay package consists of $3 million in base salary and a target bonus of 500% of base salary, or $15 million. He will get “not less than such target bonus,” according to the filing, which is dated April 23. The remainder will be a $5 million lump-sum cash payment.

If someone other than Ianniello is picked as CEO or a “corporate event” occurs, Ianniello will become a consultant with the company for up to 90 days, receiving the same base pay and target bonus. If Ianniello were to resign from the company during that period, a percentage of the $5 million cash payment can be recouped by the company.

If Ianniello‚Äôs employment “ceases for any reason other than for ’cause,'” per the agreement, he will receive a lump-sum cash payment of $10 million as severance.

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