Vince McMahon Steps Back from WWE CEO Role, Stephanie McMahon Named Interim CEO
As a result of an ongoing investigation into alleged misbehavior involving McMahon paying a former employee $3 million to stay quiet about an alleged affair he had with her, the WWE has announced that Vince McMahon has “stepped back” from his duties as CEO and chairman of the board. Until the investigation is completed, his daughter Stephanie McMahon will act as temporary CEO and interim chairwoman. Vince McMahon, on the other hand, will continue to be the lead booker of WWE’s on-air program and will continue to hold roles and responsibilities in WWE’s creative product.
McMahon’s alleged affair and subsequent payment to the employee to keep quiet were initially reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to the article, WWE’s chief of talent relations, John Laurinaitis, was allegedly implicated in the cover-up and is being investigated for misconduct. After receiving an anonymous tip, the board launched an investigation and learned that additional former workers had signed NDAs to protect them from speaking out about alleged misbehavior. The WWE’s board of directors has hired an outside legal counsel to assist in the inquiry, with WWE promising to cooperate and McMahon promising to accept the investigation’s findings and outcome.
McMahon has been the CEO of WWE since 2009 when his wife Linda McMahon quit pursuing a political career. Stephanie McMahon, meantime, has worked for the WWE as an on-air personality and a corporate leader, most recently acting as the company’s chief brand officer before taking an unexpected leave of absence earlier this year.
“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,” said Stephanie McMahon in the announcement of her role as interim CEO. “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.”