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Ex-CBS Head Moonves to Fight for $120M Severance in Arbitration

The AmLaw Litigation Daily

CBS Corp. announced Thursday that Les Moonves, who resigned as CEO in September amid allegations of sexual harassment, was challenging the company’s decision last month to deny him his $120 million severance package.


Barry H. Genkin, a partner at Blank Rome in Philadelphia, said the move from Moonves came as no surprise after CBS’s decision to deny his severance, and private arbitration presented little downside for the former executive, after months of bruising headlines regarding his personal conduct.

“There’s little cost for Moonves,” Genkin said. “From his perspective, I guess he can’t end up any worse than he is now.”

The sides could still agree to a settlement. However, CBS has faced pressure over its handling of sexual harassment allegations, and the company has given no indication that it intends to make any payment to Moonves, making arbitration an all-or-nothing venture for the former executive.

“I don’t think that this is a situation where there’s a likelihood” of a settlement, Genkin said. “I have every reason to believe CBS is going to stick firmly to the position it has taken so far.”

"Ex-CBS Head Moonves to Fight for $120M Severance in Arbitration," by Tom McParland was published in The AmLaw Litigation Daily on January 17, 2019.