Les Moonves & The Role Forward-Thinking Boards

It seems that a week doesn’t go by without another high profile story of someone in power being accused of decades-long abuse by multiple sources. The latest, CBS CEO, Leslie Moonves stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct that covered much of his career. This situation highlights the need for and role of Boards, in organizational culture, as a business imperative.

The six women who came forward are accusing Moonves of sexual misconduct and damaging their careers. During the investigation that is being launched, Moonves has stepped down and there is a possible $120 Million-dollar severance package that is pending the outcome of the investigation.

In addition to the personal impact his actions have had on these women, these actions have also created significant legal liability, destroyed the corporate culture and severely impacted the CBS-brand. These all have a financial impact that reduces shareholder value, which corporate Boards are charged with a fiduciary responsibility to oversee.

One needs to look no further than the value destruction that a harassing culture caused at Weinstein Companies, which is undergoing a fire-sale.

Forward-thinking corporate Boards increasingly take a proactive role in creating a sustainable culture, where employees feel safe, can bring their true selves to work, and leadership understands their client and employee base. These Boards are dedicating time and resources to ensure culture-building strategies and accountability are clear expectations of Senior Management.


Samir Gupte is the President and Chief Engagement Officer of Pope Consulting, a professional management consulting firm offering a wide range of services helping clients move towards a diverse and inclusive workforce. Pope Consulting has worked with more than 250 of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as universities, non-profits, government organizations, small businesses, and more. 

Samir brings over 25 years of experience in corporations, small business, and non-profits. He has held leadership roles in Human Resources and Operations with Corning, Rockwell Automation, Owens Corning, Choice Hotels International, Yum Brands!, Darden Restaurants, and OTG Management: an award-winning innovator in airport dining and retail services.