CBS Stock Tumbles After CEO Leslie Moonves Ousted

Shares of CBS Corp. fell in early trading Monday on news that Leslie Moonves is out as chairman and CEO after a series of sexual-misconduct revelations about the exec.

CBS stock was down 3.3% as of 10:11 a.m. ET, coming after an upturn in the media company’s share price late last week on reports it was negotiating a settlement with controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc. over control of CBS. Shares of CBS fell in July after the New Yorker first published accusations by six women against Moonves. [UPDATE: The stock closed down 1.5% for the day, to $55.20 per share.]

CBS on Sunday officially announced that Moonves will step down as chairman and CEO on the heels of new sexual-assault allegations detailed in a New Yorker report over the weekend. In addition, CBS and NAI announced the settlement of the legal fight over control of the company and CBS named six new directors to its board.

In an SEC filing Monday, CBS said it put $120 million in trust to pay severance to Moonves, depending on results of corporate investigation. If Moonves is not terminated for cause, he would provide advisory services to CBS for up to a year, per the filing.

Moonves, in a statement Sunday evening, said he was “deeply saddened to be leaving the company” and that “Untrue allegations from decades ago are now being made against me that are not consistent with who I am.”

A New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow published Sunday detailed accounts by six more women who accused Moonves of sexual misconduct, including in one instance in which he allegedly violently threw a woman against a wall. Farrow previously reported in a July 27 exposé for the New Yorker that six women had accused Moonves of sexually harassing them and that he sought to damage their careers in the entertainment industry when they rebuffed his advances.

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