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CBS Says CEO Will Not Receive Any Severance Pay

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CBS Corp. (CBS,CBS-A) said it has completed its investigation of former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, CBS News, and "cultural issues at CBS". The media company has determined that Moonves will not receive any severance payment.

"With regard to Mr. Moonves, we have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company's investigation," CBS said in a statement.

In early September, Moonves resigned with immediate effect after allegations of sexual misconduct. CBS had been investigating Moonves since allegations appeared in the New Yorker in July - and fresh accusations from six more women in September.

CNBC had reported at that time that under Moonves' contract with CBS, he was due for as much as $180 million in severance and a production deal. However, the board was reportedly offering a roughly $100 million exit package made up almost entirely of CBS stock.

CBS said that the investigators learned of past incidents of improper and unprofessional conduct and concluded that the company's historical policies, practices and structures have not reflected a high institutional priority on preventing harassment and retaliation.

Further, the investigation determined that the resources devoted to CBS' Human Resources function, to training and development, and to diversity and inclusion initiatives have been inadequate, given the size and complexity of CBS' businesses.

Employees also cited past incidents in which HR and the company did not hold high performers accountable for their conduct and protect employees from retaliation. However, the investigators concluded that harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS.

CBS said its board, which includes six new members, and its new management have already begun to take robust steps to improve the working environment for all employees.

Among other things, CBS appointed a new Chief People Officer and is actively engaged in ways to enhance and re-imagine the Human Resources function.

The company has also retained outside expert advisors to develop other initiatives for promoting a workplace culture of dignity, transparency, respect and inclusion.

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