Leslie Moonves is going to arbitration with CBS over his $120 million exit package

Key Points
  • Former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is bringing his case against CBS to binding arbitration after being denied his $120 million exit package, according to a new SEC filing by CBS.
  • Moonves resigned last year after being accused of a dozen women of sexual misconduct.
  • CBS denied Moonves his exit package after an investigation for the CBS board concluded there were just grounds for his termination.
Leslie 'Les' Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS Corp., listens during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills , California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is bringing his case against CBS to binding arbitration, the company said in an SEC filing Wednesday. Moonves believes he was wrongfully terminated although a CBS board investigation concluded there were grounds to fire him for cause.

CBS said last month it found grounds for firing Moonves and would not be paying him any of a potential $120 million exit package. The filing said Moonves had the right to take the case to arbitration if he disputed the board's decision. CBS said in the filing it does not plan to comment further during the arbitration process.

Last year, a dozen women came forward alleging Moonves engaged in sexual misconduct. Moonves resigned his role in September amidst the backlash, although he denies the accusations of nonconsensual sexual relations.

But investigators for the CBS board said Moonves misled them and destroyed evidence, according to a version of the report prepared for the board and viewed and reported by The New York Times. Moonves' attorney, Andrew Levander, told the Times that Moonves "cooperated extensively and fully with investigators."

When the board of directors announced last month Moonves would not receive his $120 million severance package following the probe, CBS said the investigation did not find evidence of pervasive problems related to harassment and retaliation, though it said investigators did find incidents of "improper and unprofessional conduct." CBS said at the time it had already taken "robust steps" to better its workplace environment.

CBS was up 2 percent at Thursday's close.

Here is the text from the filing:

As previously reported, on December 17, 2018, CBS Corporation (the "Company") announced that its Board of Directors had completed its investigation of the Company's former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Leslie Moonves, and had determined that there were grounds to terminate his 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.

Also as previously reported, pursuant to the separation agreement between the Company and Mr. Moonves dated September 9, 2018, any dispute with respect to the determination of whether the Company has grounds to terminate the employment of Mr. Moonves for cause is subject to binding arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the separation agreement if Mr. Moonves makes a demand for binding arbitration within a specified period following the date on which the Board of Directors gives Mr. Moonves notice of the cause termination.

On January 16, 2019, Mr. Moonves 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.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Watch: Moonves severance denial is not a surprise, says NYT's media reporter

Moonves severance denial is not a surprise, says NYT's media reporter
Moonves severance denial is not a surprise, says NYT's media reporter