Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Sumner Redstone resigned as executive chairman of CBS Corp., and Leslie Moonves was elected to succeed him, the company announced Wednesday.

Moonves has been president and CEO of CBS Corp. since 2006, when the company split from Viacom. He has been with CBS since 1995, serving as the head of CBS Entertainment, president/CEO of CBS Television and chairman of CBS Television.

“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.”

The resignation of Redstone, 92, was effective as of Tuesday, according to the company. His daughter, Shari, will continue to vice chair of the CBS Board, a post she has held since 2005.

“I am particularly grateful that Shari Redstone has agreed to continue in her role as vice chair of the company,” Moonves said. “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.”

According to CBS, Shari Redstone was offered the position of non- executive chair of the CBS Board, but she declined, citing other “professional and personal responsibilities.” She in turn nominated Moonves for the post.

“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,” Shari Redstone said. “I am sure he will make a great chair and I look forward to working with him for many years to come.”

CBS did not provide specifics of Sumner Redstone’s resignation. The aging executive’s health has been at the center of a court battle, with a former companion battling to regain control of his health care.

Manuela Herzer claims she was forced out of Redstone’s home in October, in a move she contends was against Redstone’s will.

Redstone’s lawyer, Gabrielle A. Vidal, has been fighting Herzer’s effort to regain control of Redstone’s health care, saying he is receiving more-than- adequate care.

Vidal has called Herzer’s petition a “meritless action, riddled with lies, and a despicable invasion of (Redstone’s) privacy.”

Herzer’s lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, maintains that Redstone is “tragically incapacitated.” A judge recently ordered that Redstone must undergo a medical examination to assess his mental condition.

Another hearing is set for Monday.

— Wire reports 

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