Vince McMahon to resign during WWE misconduct investigation – Terrace Standard

Vince McMahon resigns as CEO and president of WWE during an investigation into alleged misconduct involving the longtime leader and public face of the organization.

McMahon will continue to oversee WWE’s creative content during the investigation, World Wrestling Entertainment said on Friday, naming McMahon’s daughter Stephanie as CEO and interim president.

Vince McMahon will be Appear on its live “SmackDown” show later Friday, WWE said on Twitter after announcing changes in the organization’s leadership.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that WWE was investigating an alleged $3 million settlement McMahon paid to an employee who left after a consensual affair.

“I have pledged my full cooperation with the special committee’s investigation and will do everything I can to support the investigation,” McMahon said in a prepared statement Friday. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and the outcome of the investigation, whatever they may be.”

The employee, hired as a paralegal in 2019, has had a separation agreement from January that prevents her from discussing her relationship with McMahon or disparaging him, the Journal reported.

The board’s investigation, which began in April, found other older non-disclosure agreements involving claims by former WWE employees of misconduct by McMahon and John Laurinaitis, WWE’s head of talent relations, the Journal reported.

Aside from the investigation into McMahon and Laurinaitis’ alleged misconduct, WWE said the company and its special committee will work with an independent third party to conduct a comprehensive review of the work environment in the organization.

Vince McMahon has been WWE’s most recognizable face and leader for decades.

When he bought the company, then the World Wrestling Federation, from his father in 1982, wrestling matches were held in small venues and featured on local cable channels.

The organization underwent a seismic transformation under McMahon. He created WrestleMania, a premium live event that draws millions of adoring viewers.

Last year’s revenue topped $1 billion for the first time.

WWE stars have become crossover sensations, including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena.

Stephanie McMahon, who will at least temporarily take over as WWE leader, announced last month that she would take a leave of most of their responsibilities in the organization. She had served as the company’s brand director.

Her husband, Paul Levesque, who wrestled under the ring name Triple H, announced in March that he was retiring from wrestling due to a heart condition. Levesque serves as WWE’s executive vice president of strategy and development.

“I have pledged to do everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including obtaining company-wide cooperation to help complete the investigation and implement its findings,” he said in a statement.

Shares of Stamford, Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fell less than 1% at the opening bell on Friday.

—Michelle Chapman, Associated Press


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