CBS CFO Reynolds sets retirement


After 15 years at the company, dating back to Westinghouse, Fred Reynolds has announced plans to retire as Executive Vice President and CFO of CBS Corporation. Reynolds will step down as CFO on July 20th, with Deputy CFO Joseph Ianniello moving up, but Reynolds will continue to deal with transition matters until his retirement on August 15th.

“It is impossible to overstate the contribution that Fred has made to the CBS Corporation through his many years with our company,” said CBS Corp. President and CFO Les Moonves. “He has guided our finance division through virtually every major transformative event of the last 15 years, from the acquisition by Westinghouse of CBS in 1995, to our Infinity acquisition the following year, to the Viacom-CBS merger of 2000 and the subsequent launch of CBS Corporation as a stand-alone company in 2006. He has also been instrumental in the many activities that have since cemented our standing as one of the preeminent global media companies. Throughout all this change and growth, one thing has remained constant: Fred’s steady hand and keen business instincts. I am among many who have benefited from his financial acumen over the years, and I will personally miss his counsel and his daily company very much. I know everyone at CBS joins me in thanking Fred for all he has done, and in wishing him nothing but the best in the years to come,” Moonves stated.

“Fred Reynolds will be missed,” said Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Marci Ryvicker. “Mr. Reynolds has an excellent reputation and is known for his conservatism, his focus on the balance sheet and his desire for CBS to maintain an investment grade rating. We believe Mr. Reynolds’ departure is a slight negative for the stock, although we stress that there is no underlying reason for his departure other than the fact that he is ready to enter retirement,” she said in a note to clients.    

“It has been tremendously gratifying to be a part of the evolution of CBS into a leader in the global media marketplace. Being a part of this unbelievable transformation has been the most wonderful and exciting decade and a half of my career. It has been my privilege and a true honor to work with Leslie and our firm’s senior management team, as well as with all of the dedicated and accomplished people who have worked so hard to make CBS the great company it is today. Personally, I feel very fortunate and excited about the opportunity to retire, knowing CBS is in such good hands, led by Leslie and his world-class leadership team,” Reynolds said of his departure.

Reynolds spent much of his long tenure at Westinghouse/CBS/Viacom in the finance department. However, from 2001 to the split of Viacom and CBS in 2006 he was President of the CBS Television Stations Group. Prior to joining Westinghouse in 1994 as CFO he had spent 13 years in financial positions at PepsiCo.

RBR/TVBR observation: Fred Reynolds has had amazing staying power through an incredible string of transitions. He came from the Westinghouse Electric side and stayed on through the CBS acquisition and then when Mel Karmazin came aboard with the Infinity radio group merger. Then he outlasted Karmazin after the Viacom merger and has been CFO under Les Moonves since CBS was again split off from Viacom. It seems he somehow makes no enemies.