Richard Parsons resigns from the Council of the CBS, citing health reasons

adminOctober 22, 2018

4:07 PM PDT 10/21/2018


Kimberly Nordyke

Strauss Zelnick will assume Parsons' position as interim chairman of the board, effective immediately.

Richard Parsons has resigned from the Board of Directors of CBS Corp., including his position as interim chairman of the board, the company said Sunday.

Strauss Zelnick will assume Parsons' position as interim chairman of the board, effective immediately.

Parsons said he is resigning due to complications with his health; The executive was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer, several years ago.

"The reason for my departure is related to the state of my health," Parsons said in a statement. "As some of you know, when I agreed to join the board of directors and hold the position of interim president, I was already facing a serious health problem, multiple myeloma, but I felt that the situation was manageable." Unfortunately, unanticipated complications have generated additional complications, new challenges, and my doctors have warned that cutting back on my current commitments is essential to my overall recovery.I trust that the distinguished board of directors of CBS, now led by Strauss Zelnick, as well as the strong management team of CBS by Joe Ianniello, will continue to successfully guide this company in its very bright future. "

Parsons had been named chairman of the CBS board on an interim basis less than a month ago, replacing Leslie Moonves, who stepped aside on September 9 after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, which the former director general has denied.

Parsons, the former CEO of AOL Time Warner who organized the unraveling of the unfortunate merger of Time Warner and AOL, joined the board of directors of CBS in April, when Vice President Shari Redstone was promoting a merger of Viacom and CBS.

According to the New York TimesParsons played a key role in negotiating the departure of Moonves and advised on the appointment of interim CEO Joe Ianniello, who considers himself a strong contender to take on the job permanently.

Meanwhile, the appointment of Zelnick was decided by unanimous decision of the board on Sunday night.

In its announcement, CBS announced that Zelnick has held administrative functions in all areas of entertainment, from music to film and television, including as president and CEO of BMG Entertainment, president and chief operating officer of 20th Century Fox and international television sales at Columbia Pictures.

In 2001, he founded the media-focused private equity firm ZMC (Zelnick Media Capital), where he is "responsible for originating, structuring and monitoring investments", according to his biography, and currently serves as CEO and chairman of the board. Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Zelnick has also served as president and CEO of Columbia Music Entertainment; President of ITN Networks; President of Direct Holdings Worldwide and OTX; president and CEO of Crystal Dynamics, producer and distributor of interactive entertainment software; and president and COO of Vestron Inc.

The news of Parsons' decision to resign came three days after Ianniello announced that Showtime CEO David Nevins had been elevated to creative director of CBS Corp. The new position made Nevins the highest-ranking creative executive in the media giant.

On Thursday, Ianniello also announced the appointment of Showtime chief financial officer Chris Spade as executive vice president and chief financial officer of CBS Corp.

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