Vince McMahon Steps Down From WWE CEO Role

by Emily Morgan

Vince McMahon has volunteered to step back from his roles as WWE CEO and chairman amid an “investigation into alleged misconduct” by him and the head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis. 

“McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway,” the sports entertainment company said. 

As of Friday, the board’s special committee handling the probe has appointed McMahon’s daughter Stephanie as interim CEO and chairwoman. According to The Wall Street Journal, McMahon and Laurinaitis paid multi-million dollar hush payments to women who allegedly had affairs with them.

The allegations began when someone contacted the board about someone who left the company and received a $3 million payment. According to the report, it uncovered other payments and legal agreements with several other women.

Laurinaitis previously wrestled under the stage name Johnny Ace. McMahon has also appeared for years on WWE programming. 

“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee,” He added, “I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” said Vince McMahon.

“WWE and its board of directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously,” the firm said. “The independent directors of the board engaged independent legal counsel to assist them with an independent review. In addition, the special committee and WWE will work with an independent third party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture.”

The company also said that it and the board won’t comment further until the investigation has come to a decision. 

Vince McMahon’s daughter acting as WWE interim CEO

McMahon and his family effectively control the WWE by owning Class B shares. However, the WWE is a publicly-traded company. In addition, McMahon and Linda McMahon are married. She is the former CEO of the company and former administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Trump.

Until recently, his daughter Stephanie was the company’s chief brand officer. Her husband, former wrestler Paul “HHH” Levesque, also serves as the firm’s executive.

“I love this company and am committed to working with the independent directors to strengthen our culture and our company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” Stephanie McMahon said. 

“I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the special committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings.”

McMahon and his wife created the company that became WWE in 1980. They have held control over it since its inception.