CBS executive chairman Sumner Redstone has stepped down from that position at broadcaster CBS, handing the role of chairman to CBS CEO Les Moonves.
The move comes as Redstone, in frail health, has come under scrutiny concerning his mental capacity and ability to make decisions regarding the company.
While Redstone remains executive chairman of Viacom, the other media giant he controls, the CBS move adds to speculation he may do the same for the cable programmer. Viacom's board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow (Feb. 4), where Redstone's status could be discussed.
Moonves was nominated by Shari E. Redstone, vice chair of the CBS Board, and his appointment was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the CBS directors. He also will continue to serve as president and CEO of CBS, positions he has held since 2006. Summer Redstone becomes chairman emeritus. Shari Redstone, who was offered the position of executive chairman but declined it, will remain vice chair.
“I am honored to accept the chairmanship of this great company,” Moonves said. “I want to thank Sumner for his guidance and strong support over all these years. It has meant the world to me. I am particularly grateful that Shari Redstone has agreed to continue in her role as vice chair of the company. Her business acumen and knowledge of the media space remain very important to me as we move forward, and I greatly appreciate her support and invaluable counsel. I would also like to thank our excellent board of directors, who have contributed so significantly to our success. The people of CBS have achieved much together, and I believe the best is yet to come.”
Shari Redstone said in a statement: “I have been fortunate to work with Les, and he has clearly established himself as a creative and effective leader who understands both the challenges and the opportunities that are shaping today’s media landscape. I am sure he will make a great chair and I look forward to working with him for many years to come.”