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Richard Parsons Named Interim Chairman of CBS’ Board of Directors

Richard Parsons, former head of Time Warner, has been named interim chairman of CBS’ board of directors.

The newly configured CBS board had its first formal meeting via teleconference on Tuesday after the shakeup that began Sept. 9 with the forced resignation of longtime CEO Leslie Moonves amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Parsons was appointed to the CBS board earlier this month along with four other new members. He’ll be tasked with leading the board at a time of great transition for CBS.

Also on Tuesday, two more long-serving CBS board members, Bruce Gordon and William Cohen, confirmed that they have resigned from the board. Their departures leave the panel at 11 members. It’s not immediately clear if their seats will be replaced.

Gordon, former head of the NAACP and a former top Verizon executive, was credited with stepping up and leading the negotiations that led to Moonves’ resignation and the settlement of the lawsuit CBS filed against its controlling shareholder, National Amusements Inc. Both the Moonves scandal and the NAI litigation have taken a toll on CBS.

“We have a distinguished and independent Board that is steadfast in its commitment to serve the best interests of all shareholders,” said Parsons. “I think I speak for all Board members when I say I look forward to learning more about CBS’ compelling opportunities and how we can help guide and support the company’s growth.”

Gordon and Cohen had been CBS board members since 2006, when CBS split off from Viacom.

Parsons led Time Warner in the aftermath of its disastrous merger with AOL in 2001. He had been seen as a candidate for the CBS’ CEO job, but sources say he is unlikely to seek that job.

One of the issues the board was believed to have considered at today’s meeting was the question of the executive search firm to lead the process of finding a new CEO. It’s unclear if any decision was made.

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