Les Moonves Net Worth: Leslie Roy Moonves, an American media executive (born October 6, 1949), resigned as chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation in September 2018 in the wake of many allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. Since 2004 he has been married to TV star Julie Chen.
From July 1995 until September 2018, he served in several executive capacities at CBS. From 1999 until 2021, he served on the board of directors at ZeniMax Media. Later, from 2004 until the company’s split in December 2005, he served as co-president and co-chief operational officer (COO) of the original Viacom, Inc., the legal forerunner of CBS Corporation. He took over as CBS’s chairman in February 2016.
Moonves resigned as chairman of CBS in September 2018 after multiple women accused him of sexual assault. Moonves allegedly deleted physical proof of his inappropriate behavior.
Moonves earned $68.4 million from CBS in 2017. According to multiple media estimates, he also has stock options for the media firm worth over $100 million, bringing his total remuneration to over US 800 million.
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Les Moonves’s Net Worth And Salary
A television and media executive from the United States with a $400 million fortune, Les Moonves, From 2003 until his resignation in September 2018, served as the chairman and CEO of the CBS Media Corporation. According to CBS’s SEC filings, Les Moonves’ total salary over 12 years was $650.2 million. At the height of his career, he was paid about $70 million annually.
After The New Yorker published a second article detailing allegations of sexual harassment and assault on September 9, 2018, Les Moonves resigned as CEO of CBS. When he was fired, Les’ contract still had almost $180 million in remuneration. According to CBS, all financial exit packages will be withheld while the allegations are investigated. The $20 million that CBS and Moonves donated to various #metoo causes will be removed from any future leave bonus. CBS has not yet paid the last $160 million as of this writing.
Les Moonves Early Life and Career: Is He Graduated From Valley Stream Central High School?
On October 6, 1949, Leslie Roy Moonves was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. His mother was a nurse, and both of his parents were Jews. His father ran several gas stations in the neighborhood. He was raised in Valley Stream, a community in Nassau County, New York, together with his one sister and two brothers.
He graduated from Valley Stream Central High School and enrolled at Bucknell University to major in medicine. He changed his major to Spanish in the middle of his second year after growing tired of science. He became interested in acting during his time in college and took part in several school plays.
He relocated to New York City to pursue an acting career after graduation in 1971. He enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse acting program, whose former students include Grace Kelly, Burt Reynolds, Steve McQueen, and Jeff Goldblum. He worked as a bartender to support himself while residing in Greenwich Village.
He appeared sparingly in a few episodes of “Barbary Coast,” “Cannon,” and “The Six Million Dollar Man” in the middle of the 1970s. He worked as the office assistant for casting director Caro Jones during one of his first jobs in New York City. Jones oversaw or made decisions regarding the casting for more than a thousand movies throughout her career.
He started producing plays at small local theatres after realizing he was more suited as a producer than an actor when he tried to break into the acting world. He temporarily relocated to Los Angeles to stage a play. He developed the award-winning play “The Hasty Heart” while residing there, which led to his employment with Columbia Pictures.
Les Moonves Executive Career
His work in the development division of a production company owned by Columbia Pictures marked the beginning of his career in the business side of the movie industry in 1979. In 1981, he departed to work at 21st Century Fox in the division responsible for developing films and television shows.
He had ascended to become the company’s president and CEO by the time Lorimar Television was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1991, having been the head of creative affairs by 1984. After the transaction, he was allowed to keep his job.
He received a promotion to Warner Bros. president in 1993. He created popular TV programs like “Friends” and “ER.” He left Warner Bros. in 1995 to work for CBS Television as president of entertainment. In 1997, he was allowed to become president of CBS Television.
The network aired the well-known sitcoms “King of Queens” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” while he served as president. Later, in the 2000s, “Survivor” and the forensic crime thriller “CSI” were broadcast on the network. The network was ready for success when he took over as CEO. By 2003, the network had two successful spin-offs of its “CSI” series, and it would go on to have many more. In addition, it had the well-liked procedural police drama “NCSI,” which would also have several spin-offs.
Although his responsibilities as CEO of CBS Corporation were more focused on the operation and profitability of the corporation, he didn’t give up full creative authority. He was identified as the official that decided to end “Star Trek: Enterprise” in 2005. CBS is going through a difficult time with ownership and affiliates, but Moonves has remained a constant throughout the company’s mergers.
In addition to being elected to the Television Hall of Fame in 2013, he took Sumner Redstone’s place as executive chairman of CBS in the same year. He faced some backlash in 2016 for endorsing Donald Trump’s campaign as advantageous for television audiences and ad sales, regardless of his policy positions.
Les Moonves Salary
Les Moonves received a minimum of $50 million in total pay from CBS between 2010 and 2017. He earned $70 million in 2017. He was then the world’s highest-paid Hollywood executive. Our calculations show Les made almost $650 million before taxes while working for CBS.
Les Moonves Personal Life
In 1978, Moonves wed Nancy Weisenfield, and they eventually had three kids. In 2004, the couple got a divorce. Thirteen days after he filed a request with the court to have it finalized early, citing a “want to return to the status of being single,” he wed news anchor and producer Julie Chen. 2013 saw the birth of her son.