Vince McMahon resigns as WWE CEO after hush money allegations

Meanwhile, his daughter Stephanie McMahon will serve as interim CEO and interim chairman, WWE (WWE) said in a statement Friday.
McMahon won’t completely disappear from the company. While the investigation is underway, he will retain a role associated with WWE creative content and will appear as a character in wrestling tweet On Friday, McMahon will appear on the company’s Friday night wrestling show “Smackdown,” which airs on Fox.
A special committee of the company’s board of directors has opened an investigation into McMahon. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that McMahon secretly paid a $3 million settlement to a former employee who allegedly had an affair with him. The separation agreement, reportedly reached in January, prevented the unnamed former employee from “discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“I have pledged to cooperate fully with the select committee’s investigation, and I will do everything possible to support it,” McMahon said in the statement. “I also pledge to accept the findings and outcomes of the investigation, whatever they may be.”

The investigation reportedly began in April and “uncovered other earlier nondisclosure agreements involving allegations of Mr. McMahon’s misconduct by former WWE female employees,” the Wall Street Journal reported. The company’s head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis, reportedly uncovered other allegations of misconduct.

WWE said Friday that it “takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously” and has engaged independent legal services to assist in the review. The third party will also “conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture”.

The company’s board is made up of executives reporting to McMahon and even by members of McMahon’s own family. Among them were Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque, her husband and former wrestler, stage name Triple H. Vince McMahon controls most of the voting rights.

McMahon has always been an integral part WWE (WWE) For decades, both behind the scenes and in the ring.

The CEO has helped turn the company into a media giant and currently has deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. McMahon also helped create many famous wrestlers like The Rock, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin who have grown bigger than WWE itself.

WWE shares are up more than 30% year to date, an outlier in the current bear market.

— CNN Business’s Frank Pallotta contributed to this report.


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