Lots of corporate CEOs are overpaid, but perhaps none is as spectacularly and flagrantly overpaid as Les Moonves, who runs CBS, a company most famous for making bad TV shows. This new $28 million mansion he bought is pocket change for ol' Les.
How overpaid is Les Moonves? So overpaid that in the depths of the recession, in 2009, when his company lost more than $11 billion and laid off thousands of employees and the stock price fell by two-thirds, he saw his salary plummet... to $13.6 million. So overpaid that a 2010 study found him to be the most undeservingly enriched CEO, and suggested that he should take a $28 million pay cut. So overpaid that in 2012 he made more than $62 million, which the AFL-CIO calculates as 1,800 times the pay of his average employee. Moonves is, by far, the highest-paid CEO of any media company, even though scientists who study media companies point out that Les Moonves' media company produces almost exclusively "garbage," a technical term for "CBS shows."
Which is not to say that Les Moonves does not work hard. For example, this week he had to pick up a phone and say, "Hire Colbert." Phones can be heavy.
With his work for 2014 already done, it's only fair that Les Moonves reward himself with Paul Allen's old $28 million Malibu mansion. Emily Smith reports that "Moonves already has a Holmby Hills mansion, which he'll keep, and use the beach house as a weekend retreat."
Alternately, Les Moonves could put the painting of himself smugly drinking wine and cuddling with his television star wife/ employee into the mansion, and then set the mansion on fire. Les Moonves can afford it.