In a just-released proxy statement, CBS said its former CEO, Les Moonves, made $47.1 million in total compensation in 2018, including salary and stock. But after the amount he surrendered due to the circumstances of his exit, his total payday came to about $12.5 million.
That lower figure is a far cry from the $69 million or so he took home in 2016 and 2017 when he was one of the best-paid executives in media. Moonves left last September under a cloud of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct from more than a dozen women.
Moonves forfeited $34.5 million in stock awards and another $8 million in stock benefits granted during 2018 as per his 2017 pay package.
The search is still on for the permanent successor to Moonves. The CBS board, which includes a host of new members, has been deliberating after receiving a list of finalists from a search firm.
One of the finalists is Joe Ianniello, a longtime Moonves lieutenant who has been acting CEO for the past several months. According to the proxy statement, his total compensation was $27.4 million in 2018.
The company’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for May 29, two weeks after the CBS upfront presentation, which is returning to its longtime home at Carnegie Hall. It was on that storied stage just one year ago that Moonves attempted to dispel the gathering storm with his usual showmanship.