World Wrestling Entertainment announced on Friday that its famed CEO, Vince McMahon, has stepped down from his leadership responsibilities as the company investigates allegations of misconduct against him.
The WWE Board of Directors named McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, as CEO and interim president pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“I have pledged my full cooperation with the special committee’s investigation, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” Vince McMahon said in a statement released by the Stamford, Connecticut-based company. “I am also committed to accepting the findings and results of the investigation, whatever they may be.”
Later on Friday, McMahon kicked off “WWE Friday Night SmackDown” with a quick talk, saying he’d like to remind fans of the sport’s “iconic” words: “So, now, forever, and the most important word is together. “.
“Welcome to SmackDown,” he said, tossing his mic.
Few CEOs are as closely associated with a product as McMahon is with professional wrestling. He frequently appears on WWE broadcasts and is said to have almost total control over general scripts and storylines.
And even if the board reviews possible misconduct, the directors still authorize McMahon to “retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE creative content during this time,” according to the company’s statement.
Stephanie McMahon also said she would support the ongoing investigation.
“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our business; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” she said in a company statement.
“I am committed to doing everything in my power to help the special committee complete its work, including enlisting the cooperation of the entire company to help complete the investigation and bring implement its findings.”
WWE’s board of directors said it was investigating both the elder McMahon and head of talent relations John Laurinaitis for “alleged misconduct”, but did not detail any of the charges.
The Wall Street Journal reported that WWE’s board wanted to know if McMahon paid a former employee $3 million to keep quiet about an affair between the two.
The ongoing investigation is also looking into allegations of other nondisclosure agreements involving former WWE employees and Laurinaitis, the newspaper reported.
Denis Romero contributed.
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Post expires at 9:46pm on Wednesday June 29th, 2022