CBS Corp. has elevated its top financial executive, Joseph Ianniello, into the expanded role of chief operating officer.
Ianniello, 45, becomes the second-ranked operating executive in the broadcasting company, after Chief Executive Leslie Moonves. However, the move does not position Ianniello as a potential successor to the 63-year-old Moonves. Rather, it recognizes that Ianniello will take on additional responsibilities due to the retirement this fall of another key CBS executive, Martin Franks.
Ianniello, who has served as CBS' chief financial officer since 2009, will gain oversight of the negotiation of important distribution contracts between the network and pay-TV distributors. Those deals -- known as retransmission consent fees -- have become a crucial source of revenue for CBS. He will also oversee deals between CBS and other entertainment platforms such as Netflix.
As part of the appointment, Ianniello signed a new five-year employment agreement. He will continue to report to Moonves and will be based in New York and Los Angeles. According to a CBS proxy filed in April, Ianniello received the third-highest compensation at the company, with a total package valued at $12.2 million, behind Moonves and company Chairman Sumner Redstone.
"He's been a game-changing CFO, but he's also so much more than that," Moonves said in a statement. "He is a tough negotiator, a great manager, and someone who brings energy, passion and a great sense of teamwork to anything he does."
Before the 2006 separation of Viacom Inc. and CBS, Ianniello held several key financial posts at Viacom, including treasurer and a vice president in corporate development, where he helped identify and assess potential acquisitions for the company.
Married with two children, Ianniello has a bachelor's degree in business from Pace University and an MBA from Columbia University.