×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Music Industry Veteran Doug Morris Exits CBS Board in Wake of Leslie Moonves Ouster

The former Sony Music chief served on the compensation committee and earned himself over $330,000 in 2017 for his director duties.

Two months shy of his 80th birthday, music industry veteran Doug Morris is vacating his seat on CBS Corp.’s board of directors. The announcement came Sept. 9 on the heels of news that Les Moonves was stepping down as chairman and CEO of CBS amid a cascade of sexual assault allegations.

Morris, the only executive to have held a chief position at each of the three major music groups (Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music), joined the board in 2007 when he was chairman and CEO of Vivendi’s UMG. Last year Morris collected some $332,000 in compensation and stock, according to an SEC filing by CBS, for his service on the board.

Morris spent 2011 through 2017 as CEO of Sony Music, home to Adele, Bruce Springsteen and Tony Bennett, among many others. His first ascent to the top of the C-suite came in 1994 when Morris took on the role of president and COO of Warner Music U.S. and was appointed chairman soon after. His exit from the company was itself scandalous at the time. Staffers at Atlantic Records, which fell under his purview, were accused of participating in a scheme to sell “cleans” — or promotional copies of albums in the form of compact discs — and pocket the profit, stiffing artists and songwriters out of royalties.

Morris was forced out and, in response, filed a $50 million wrongful termination suit.

At CBS, Morris served on the compensation committee, whose role on the board required him to “approve … compensation of the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.” That committee was also required to “periodically review a succession plan.” There was some concern among music industry advocates of #MeToo and Time’s Up about Morris’ checkered past and whether he would play a part in deciding a potential severance for Moonves. As it turned out, the final negotiations of Moonves’ deal were handled primarily by lead CBS independent director Bruce Gordon.

Also exiting the board along with Morris are Arnold Kopelson, Leonard Goldberg, Charles Gifford and David Andelman. In their place are new board members Candace Beinecke, Barbara Byrne, Brian Goldner, Richard D. Parsons, Susan Schuman and Strauss Zelnick.

Morris currently runs New York-based label 12 Tone Records, which in July released the track “Bubblin'” by rapper Anderson.Paak in partnership with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment.

More Music

  • Marc Byers

    Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators' Inaugural C2 Summit

    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application process and will participate in [...]

  • Rami Dawod SESAC

    SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year

    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

  • BTS 'Good Morning America' TV show,

    BTS Show Love for Lauv and Their Army of Fans in Video for Reworked 'Make It Right'

    Early Friday morning (Oct. 18), BTS gave fans a taste of what their upcoming “comeback” (Korean pop terminology for new music) may be like with a reworked version of “Make It Right.” The Korean boy band collaborated with the American singer-songwriter Lauv, who starts the soulful ballad off with a verse in English. Advocates for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content