World Wrestling Entertainment Inc WWE:NYSE

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World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon Step Downs Temporarily Amid Alleged Misconduct Investigation

9:29AM ET 6/17/2022 MT Newswires
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) said Friday that Vince McMahon has agreed to temporarily step down as chair and chief executive of the company, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation into alleged misconduct by the long-time head.

The professional wrestling and entertainment company said a special committee has been formed to investigate McMahon and its head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis. McMahon will relinquish his responsibilities until the investigation concludes, but will retain his duties related to the company's creative content during the period, according to WWE.

"I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation," McMahon said in a statement. "I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are."

McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will take over as interim CEO and chair. She was most recently the company's chief brand officer, but decided to step aside from the role last month to focus on her family with a view to return later, according to a LinkedIn post.

Earlier in the week, The Wall Street Journal reported that WWE's board was looking into a secret $3 million settlement McMahon agreed to pay to a former female employee with whom he had an alleged affair with. The board's investigation has been going on since April and found other nondisclosure agreements with former employees accusing McMahon and Laurinaitis of misconduct, The Journal reported, citing documents and people familiar with the matter.

WWE said its board has hired external counsel to assist with the investigation. The company and its special committee will also work with an independent third-party to review its compliance program, human resources function, and culture.

"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," McMahon said in the statement.

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