November 12, 2019

Bloomberg – CBS Chief Will Get $100 Million Severance and Still Keep His Job

By Anders Melin and Lucas Shaw

CBS Corp. acting Chief Executive Officer Joe Ianniello is in line for a hefty haul when Viacom Inc. completes its proposed merger with the broadcast network.

While he won’t get to lead the combined entity, he’ll collect $100 million severance and remain chief of CBS with a new contract entitling him to tens of millions of dollars more.

The arrangement illustrates the extent of CBS’s effort to persuade Ianniello, a 22-year company veteran, to support the tie-up without having a shot at the top job.

It’s yet another example of the extravagant compensation practices of the billionaire Redstone family, which controls both Viacom and CBS and has for years heaped money on executives at a rate rivaling Silicon Valley’s tech giants.

“CBS and Viacom, given the majority ownership of the Redstones, have always been on the high side — what they want is what happens there,” said Robin Ferracone, CEO of executive compensation consulting firm Farient Advisors.

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