CBS Acting CEO Says Moonves Probe Nearing End
By Benjamin Mullin
CBS Corp.'s acting chief executive, Joseph Ianniello, told employees he believes the investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by the broadcaster's former CEO, Leslie Moonves, is nearing an end and sought to reassure them after revelations about the probe this week.
"It's frustrating that confidential information from the ongoing investigation made its way to the public before management and the board knew about it -- and importantly, before we could communicate with all of you," Mr. Ianniello wrote in a memo to employees. "And while we still don't yet know the actual results, I do understand that the investigation is nearing an end."
Mr. Ianniello was appointed acting CEO in September when Mr. Moonves stepped down amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Mr. Moonves has said he regrets making women uncomfortable, but has described several alleged encounters as consensual and denied assaulting anyone.
His memo follows a report this week by the New York Times about the findings from an investigation into Mr. Moonves'a conduct by two law firms appointed by the board. The article said a draft version of the investigators' report found Mr. Moonves obstructed the investigation, revealed new allegations against him, and said there were grounds to deny him $120 million in severance pay.
Mr. Ianniello, who is among the candidates to replace Mr. Moonves as permanent CEO, turned attention to the company's strong performance of late. "We should all be proud that we've been able to maintain our focus, and continue to perform at a high level, no matter the circumstances," he wrote.
"I know we are all anxious to put this chapter behind us," he wrote.
Write to Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com