June 20, 2022: -On Friday, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon footed back from his duties as the company announced the company’s board investigated alleged misconduct by the executive.
The announcement of the move and the special board committee probe comes two days after The Wall Street Journal reported that the WWE board was looking into McMahon for delivering a one-time employee $3 million to keep her quiet about an alleged affair between the two of them.
The report said the probe explored previous nondisclosure agreements with former female WWE employees who alleged misconduct against McMahon and another executive, John Laurinaitis, who used to wrestle under the name Johnny Ace. The board’s investigation began in April, the WSJ had reported.
“I have pledged my complete partnership to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do anything possible to support the investigation,” McMahon said in a press release Friday. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
According to the release, McMahon will remain involved in the wrestling media company’s creative content.
McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will be interim CEO and chairwoman. Stephanie McMahon said she was pulling back from the bulk of her tasks as a WWE manager to spend time with her family.
“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is essential to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” Stephanie McMahon said in the release. “I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, which includes marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in completing the investigation and implementing its findings.”
In its release, the WWE said: “The Company and the Board do not expect to have further comment until the investigation is concluded.” the announcement didn’t mention whether Laurinaitis, the company’s head of talent concerns, would also step away from his duties while the investigation unfolds. The WWE didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Vince McMahon, 76, is married to Linda McMahon, a former CEO of the wrestling company. She worked as the head of the Small Business Administration under then-President Donald Trump, a WWE Hall of Famer.
While the WWE is a publicly-traded company, McMahon, a flamboyant executive who has routinely acted out wrestling drama storylines in front of the camera, is the controlling shareholder.