Vince McMahonthe long face of and the power behind WWE and the chairman and CEO of the company, resigned pending an investigation into “alleged abuse of power” by a special committee on the board of directors.
His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, who had recently left the company to “focus on her family”, is temporarily taking over as CEO. John Laurinatis, head of WWE’s talent relations department, is also under investigation by the board.
The Wall Street Journal earlier this week messages received that McMahon secretly paid $ 3 million to a former employee with whom he had an affair. The pay is said to be one of many for women associated with professionals struggle chain.
McMahon “will retain his role and responsibilities in the creative content of WWE during this period and remains committed to collaborating with the ongoing review,” according to a press release this morning.
“I have promised my full cooperation in the investigation by the special commission and I will do my best to support the investigation,” said Vince McMahon. “I also promised to accept the findings and results of the investigation, whatever they may be.
McMahon is the majority shareholder in the publicly traded Class B company, which gives him a decisive voice. The board of directors also includes various members of his family.
WWE has lucrative media deals with NBCUniversal and Fox in the United States and has begun raising more and more money for streaming and other rights around the world. Last year, he struck a multibillion-dollar deal to take over her streaming network at NBCU’s Peacock.
The board began considering the issue in April, the WSJ report said. The employee, who received the $ 3 million payment, reportedly had a consensual relationship with McMahon, who used personal funds to make the payment. However, the investigation revealed several older non-disclosure agreements, including lawsuits by former WWE officials against McMahon and Laurinitis.
In a press release, Stephanie McMahon promised to work with independent directors to “strengthen our culture and our company.”
“It is extremely important,” she added, “that we have a safe and shared workplace. I undertook to do my utmost to help the special commission complete its work, including organizing the cooperation of the whole company to help complete the investigation and implement its findings.
In addition to the specific investigation of Vince McMahon and Laurinatis, the special committee and WWE plan to work with an independent third party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture, the statement added.