Les Moonves Net Worth: Unveiling the Media Mogul’s Fortune

Les Moonves net worth

Les Moonves, the former CEO and Chairman of CBS Corporation, has been at the center of media attention for years due to his prominent position in the entertainment industry and the various controversies that arose during his tenure. His financial success has often been a topic of discussion, especially since his departure from CBS. Through compensation and stock options, Moonves has reportedly accumulated a significant net worth, estimated to be around $700 million.

Moonves earned a staggering $68.4 million in 2017, in addition to stock options that were worth over $100 million. Despite leaving CBS amid accusations of sexual misconduct, Moonves’ wealth has continued to be scrutinized as he navigated legal battles and negotiated settlements with the company.

While Moonves’ exact net worth today may vary slightly from these estimations, it is clear that his financial success and influence within the entertainment industry have made him one of the most talked-about—and controversial—figures in recent memory.

Les Moonves’ Net Worth

Les Moonves is a prominent figure in the realm of media moguls, known for his long and illustrious career spanning over four decades in American television and broadcasting. His net worth has been a topic of keen interest, with multiple sources providing varying estimates.

According to some reports, Moonves has amassed a net worth of over $800 million through compensation from CBS. In 2017, he earned a substantial income of $68.4 million, combined with stock options of the media company, worth over $100 million. However, some sources suggest a more conservative estimate of a net worth of $400 million.

For a brief period, his net worth was estimated at $700 million, but following his departure from CBS in September, it appears to have adjusted to the current figures mentioned above. Moonves made his fortune primarily through compensation from his roles as chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation.

Early Life

Les Moonves was born on October 6, 1949, in New York City. He grew up in a well-educated family with his father being a successful businessman, while his mother played an influential role in his early exposure to the arts. Moonves quickly developed an interest in media and entertainment, which ultimately led him on the path to becoming a powerful media executive later in his career.

Moonves attended Valley Stream Central High School, where he excelled academically and participated in various extracurricular activities. After completing high school, he enrolled at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Moonves graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

Following his graduation, Moonves pursued a career in acting and landed small roles in various television shows and films. However, his interests shifted towards the business side of the entertainment industry, and he decided to venture into the world of television production and development.

In the early stages of his career, Moonves worked his way up within the television world, holding positions at notable companies such as Lorimar Television, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox. His experience and success in these roles paved the way for his future as one of the most prominent media executives in the industry.

Moonves eventually became the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation in 2003. Under his leadership, CBS made significant growth in terms of revenue and programming over the next 15 years. His tenure was marked by numerous milestones, including the negotiation of high-profile deals and the development of popular television shows. These various accomplishments have contributed to Moonves’ reported net worth of over $800 million at one point in his career, although it decreased to around $400 million in 2018 due to controversies surrounding his departure from CBS.

Overall, Les Moonves’ early life experiences laid the foundation for his career as a media executive. It was his initial interest in entertainment, coupled with his dedication and hard work, that eventually led him to achieve great success and substantial wealth in the media industry.


In the early stages of his career, Moonves transitioned from acting to a behind-the-scenes role. His expertise in the industry allowed him to accumulate considerable wealth over the years. He played a vital role in shaping the direction of various media companies and has been recognized by Forbes for his high CEO salary.

Notably, during his time as chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, Moonves significantly contributed to the company’s growth and success, receiving generous compensation packages. In 2017, he earned $68.4 million, combined with valuable stock options worth over $100 million.

In recent times, his net worth has been estimated at around $400 million. The impressive salary he received as a top executive at CBS Corporation remains a central source of his fortune.

Moonves’s career and his influence in the media industry display his ability to make bold, strategic decisions, ultimately leading to financial success. His contributions and leadership within CBS Corporation have left an indelible mark on the company’s history and have significantly bolstered his personal net worth.

Personal Life

Les Moonves, the former chairman and CEO of CBS media corporation, is known for his high-profile personal life. He is married to television host Julie Chen, who is best known for her work on the popular reality show “Big Brother.” The couple has a significant age difference, with Moonves being 20 years older than his wife.

In September 2018, Moonves faced allegations of sexual misconduct, ultimately resulting in him stepping down as chairman of CBS. Despite the controversy, the couple has remained together with Chen publicly supporting her husband.

Their marriage has been in the spotlight for years, showcasing their dedication to family life. They’re also known for their passion for philanthropy and charitable endeavors, contributing to various organizations and causes throughout their lives.

Image Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Written by Sebastian Hensiek

From Philadelphia, Sebastian is a fan of music, writing, art, and entertainment.