Moonves has relinquished his positions as chairman, chief executive and president of the broadcast network and media giant, handing over the reins to former chief operating officer Joe Ianiello on an interim basis while the search for a long-term successor takes place.
Moonves has struggled to dismiss allegations of sexual assault and harassment levelled against him by multiple women, with the final straw coming on Sunday when the New Yorker magazine published an article in which six more women came forward with claims that Moonves had exposed himself, forced sex upon them and was physically violent in incidents stretching from the 1980s up to the early 2000’s.
Over the past two decades Moonves has played a role in transforming CBS from an traditional radio and TV broadcaster into a digital powerhouse. He will leave with a severance package totaling an estimated $100m – of which $20m will be donated to the #MeToo movement.
In a statement Shari Redstone, majority owner of CBS Corporation, said: “Today’s resolution will benefit all shareholders, allowing us to focus on the business of running CBS - and transforming it for the future.
“We are confident in Joe’s ability to serve as acting CEO and delighted to welcome our new directors, who bring valuable and diverse expertise and a strong commitment to corporate governance.”