The news comes after months of battles for control of CBS. The company’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, daughter of retired Viacom mogul Sumner Redstone, wants CBS and sister media company Viacom to merge – a move that the CBS board of directors have had reservations about.

Prior to his exit in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, former CEO Les Moonves had wanted Ianniello to be president and COO of the merged entity, and to succeed him as CEO when he retired. The Redstone family has always wanted Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to be the No 2. The impasse led to months-long legal showdown, with CBS suing Redstone.