Les Moonves has notified CBS of his intention to challenge their decision to hold back his $120 million severance package.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, CBS filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission reiterating their decision last month to "terminate [Moonves'] employment with the Company for cause under the Company’s employment agreement with Mr. Moonves and that Mr. Moonves will not be entitled to receive any severance payment from the Company."
But they say that on Wednesday, their former CEO "notified the Company of his election to demand binding arbitration with respect to this matter. The Company does not intend to comment further on this matter during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings."
When they announced their decision to withhold his severance on December 17, CBS said, "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. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company."
Les Moonves was owed $140 million, according to his contract, but $20 million of that was set aside for grants. The remaining $120 million was set up in a trust, pending the decision of the board.
In September, Les Moonves stepped down as chairman and CEO of CBS after a dozen women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. He announced his departure at the time by saying, “I am deeply saddened to be leaving the company. I wish nothing but the best for the organization, the newly comprised board of directors and all of its employees.”