CBS Suspends CEO Search, Ianniello Extends Acting CEO Role

CBS is suspending a search for its CEO and said Joseph Ianniello has agreed to extend his role as CBS’ president/acting CEO through December 31.

Ianniello took over his current position in September 2018, after longtime CEO Les Moonves resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

With regard to Iannielo's extension, the CBS Board of Directors stated: “He steadied the ship with some key appointments and a commitment to cultural change, and steered it forward by focusing CBS’ operations around its growing direct-to-consumer strategy.”

Earlier this month, CNBC reported that CBS has missed an internal deadline to find a successor to Moonves.

Previously, Ianniello had been COO, CBS since 2013, responsible for establishing and executing company strategy across all businesses. He has been with CBS since 1997.

Shari Redstone, vice chairman of CBS and Viacom and president of National Amusements -- which holds near 80% stakes in each company -- has been pushing for CBS and Viacom to reunite as one company.

In September 2018, a deal was put in place in which a merger between the two cannot take place for two years, per an agreement between CBS and National Amusements. But both CBS’ and Viacom’s board of directors could make efforts to go ahead with a merger.

Reports surfaced that Redstone was pushing for Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to lead the combined company. Another report said Ianniello could be a possible No. 2.

After hours of trading, Viacom shares rose 1% to $29.52 on Tuesday, with CBS shares up 0.4% to $51.55.

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