CBS extends CEO Leslie Moonves' contract to 2019

CBS extends CEO Leslie Moonves' contract to 2019
CBS Corp. board members have extended the contract of the company's chief executive, Leslie Moonves, until the end of June 2019. (Monty Brinton / AP)

Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS Corp., plans to stay in the job at least through June 2019.

CBS' corporate board on Thursday said that it has extended Moonves' employment agreement for two more years. His stewardship had been scheduled to end in June 2017. This was the second two-year extension the board has approved for Moonves, 65, who is well regarded in Hollywood and on Wall Street.

The move is designed to keep Moonves at the helm as the company navigates titanic shifts in audience behavior that have been roiling the television industry.

Moonves' salary is scheduled to remain at its current level, according to the agreement. He will continue to receive an annual performance-based bonus and stock awards and other perks of the job.

Last year, Moonves was awarded a $66.9-million compensation package, according to a regulatory filing. That was an increase of nearly 8% from the $62.2-million package Moonves got in 2012.

He has long been in a rarefied group of the nation's most handsomely compensated corporate executives.

CBS owns the No. 1 television network that boasts such hit shows as "The Big Bang Theory," "NCIS" and "Survivor."

At the end of his tenure as CEO, Moonves can opt to become an executive advisor to the company for an additional five years. He previously structured a deal with board directors that gives him the option of establishing a production company financed by CBS after he leaves the executive suite.
Moonves came to CBS in 1995 when the company was languishing at bottom of the network ratings heap. He became chief executive of CBS Corp., following the corporate split with Viacom Inc.

Los Angeles billionaire, Sumner Redstone, 91, controls both CBS and Viacom.

Twitter: @MegJamesLAT