Richard Parsons Resigns as Interim Chairman at CBS, Citing Health Issues

Richard Parsons has resigned from the CBS board of directors, including his position as interim chairman.

In his place, CBS named veteran entertainment executive Strauss Zelnick to assume Parsons’ positions – garnered following the resignation of Les Moonves due to allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior. The appointment follows a unanimous Oct. 21 decision by the CBS board.

The 70-year-old Parsons, former chairman/CEO of Time Warner who once also served as interim CEO of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers franchise after the league banned (now former) owner Donald Sterling for life for racism, continues to deal with previously diagnosed health issues related to multiple myeloma, a blood cancer related to lymphoma and leukemia.

“As some of you know, when I agreed to join the board and serve as the interim chair, I was already dealing with a serious health challenge – but I felt that the situation was manageable,” Parsons said in a statement. “Unfortunately, unanticipated complications have created additional new challenges, and my doctors have advised that cutting back on my current commitments is essential to my overall recovery.”

Zelnick, 61, who has held management roles in all forms of entertainment, including recorded music at BMG Entertainment, motion pictures and television programming at 20th Century Fox, international television distribution at Columbia Pictures, and chief executive of Take-Two Interactive Entertainment, oversees a management team led by interim CEO (and former CFO) Joe Ianniello.



Former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons Named CBS Interim Chairman of the Board

CBS Sept. 25 announced it has named former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons interim chairman of the board of directors – replacing chairman/CEO Les Moonves, who exited the company following allegations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. The board unanimously approved the appointment, which was recommended by the board’s nominating and governance Committee.

“Dick Parsons has a combination of deep industry knowledge and unmatched corporate and board experience,” Candace Beinecke, chair of the nominating and governance committee, said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have Dick in this leadership role.”

Parsons, who stepped down as CEO of Time Warner in late 2007 – replaced by Jeff Bewkes  – has worn many corporate hats (including Citigroup) in a lengthy career that included a stint as interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise after former owner Donald Sterling was forced out following allegations of racist behavior.

CBS also announced that Bruce Gordon and William Cohen, who have served on the board of since CBS became a stand-alone public company in 2006, have decided to step down from their posts to focus on other personal and professional priorities. The board unanimously adopted a resolution to express its thanks and appreciation to Gordon and Cohen for their long and dedicated service to CBS, and to wish them well on their future endeavors.