Joe Ianniello, the interim chief executive at CBS since the departure of Les Moonves amid a sexual misconduct scandal, said in a memo to staff members that the company will not wait to move forward in reassessing and changing the company’s culture.
“For many people, CBS has been and remains a great place to work,” according to a copy of the memo posted by The Hollywood Reporter. “The goal now is to turn ‘many people’ into ‘everyone.’ All of us should feel CBS is a safe, equitable and inclusive place to work, where every employee is treated with dignity and respect. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or the CEO; every voice must be heard, and no one is above the standards we set.”
CBS has been rocked this month by the resignation of Moonves, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, and the firing of “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager, who was also accused of sexual misconduct but was terminated for a text message he sent to a CBS reporter who was covering the story.
And Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the creator of the CBS comedy “Designing Women,” wrote an op-ed article recently that said Moonves thwarted her career by refusing to air her shows.
Ianniello said in the memo that he has begun a listening tour with all the business units of CBS. “I want to find out quickly and clearly what inspires you about your part of the business, what challenges you, and what obstacles you think we face,” the interim chief executive said.
Ianniello said the outside investigation into the company’s culture, conducted by two law firms, was continuing. “There is no reason to wait on reassessing our culture. It’s incumbent on all of us right now to be a part of this opportunity we have in front of us. As we do, we will strengthen our workplace and strive to become pioneers in this area that is so crucial to our success.”
When Ianniello first became interim chief executive, he sent a memo to the staff that did not mention the controversy over Moonves’ departure or the investigations into sexual harassment and the culture at the company. The subject line of the email read, “Looking forward.”
Now he appears to be addressing the issues directly.