CBS Corp.'s dramatic shake-up on Sunday will add several women to its board, improving gender equity at a company whose longtime leader was toppled by sexual-harassment accusations.
The new board also features bankers who specialize in mergers and acquisitions, raising questions about whether the media company will prepare itself for a deal. The panel has some high-profile chief executive officers as well, including the heads of Hasbro and Take-Two Interactive Software and the former CEO of Time Warner.
The new lineup stemmed from a settlement between CBS and its majority shareholder, National Amusements, controlled by the billionaire Redstone family. As part of the agreement, the Redstones won't pursue a merger between CBS and another of their companies, Viacom, for at least two years. That idea had been promoted by National Amusements, but it wasn't popular with CBS investors or management.
There are other transactions that CBS may pursue, though—either as a buyer or an acquisition target. If it does, its board will have experts at getting high-profile deals done.
Beinecke is a senior partner at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed, focusing on corporate governance and mergers and acquisition. In 2015, Crain's New York Business named Beinecke one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in New York." In the 1990s, the 71-year-old Beinecke counted Viacom among her high-profile clients. CBS was part of Viacom, the owner of MTV and Nickelodeon, until a separation in 2006.
Byrne is a vice chairman of investment banking at Barclays who spent nearly three decades at Lehman Brothers. Byrne has advised several companies on megadeals over her career, including Altria Group Inc.'s spinoff of Philip Morris International in 2008.
Byrne also co-produced and invested in "Equity"—a 2016 film about gender inequality on Wall Street that was the rare movie to be written, directed and produced by women.
Goldner, 55, is the chairman and CEO of Hasbro, the world's largest publicly traded toymaker. He leads a company that's trying to replace lost revenue caused by the recent liquidation of Toys ''R'' Us Inc. Hasbro has done business with CBS in the past, including making products based on "Star Trek."
Parsons brings a media background as the former CEO of Time Warner, which he led from 2002 to 2007. That put him in charge of the company that owns HBO, a competitor to CBS's Showtime. During his tenure, Parsons was credited with calming internal discord at the company following the failed merger with AOL. The 70-year-old recently started a venture capital firm called Imagination Capital that focuses on digital media.
Schuman is CEO of SYPartners, a management consulting firm. She's worked with executives at several major companies, including IBM, Facebook, Starbucks and the CW, which is co-owned by CBS. The 59-year-old also once oversaw product marketing at Apple.
Zelnick is CEO and chairman of Take-Two, the maker of video games like "NBA 2K," which recently started a professional esports league. He's also a partner at Zelnick Media Capital, a private equity firm. The 61-year-old Harvard law and business school graduate became president of 20th Century Fox while still in his early 30s. He later ran music company BMG before founding his investment firm, which ultimately took control of Take-Two. A health fanatic, Zelnick wrote a book on how to become ageless.
-- Bloomberg News