WWE will be shaking things up internally following a bombshell report produced by The Wall Street Journal regarding Vince McMahon.
WWE has announced that McMahon, the CEO and Chairman of the company, has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities. This is following an investigation of McMahon by WWE’s board as a result of a secret $3 million hush pact regarding an alleged affair over a former paralegal with the company. Talent relations head John Laurinaitis is also being investigated for his involvement in the situation.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and 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 McMahon in a release.
Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter, has been appointed as interim CEO and interim Chairwoman. This is just a few months after she stepped down from her role as Chief Brand Officer to be closer to her family.
“Until the conclusion of the investigation into recent allegations, I am honored to assume the role of interim Chairwoman & CEO. I love @WWE and all it continues to do to entertain billions around the world,” Stephanie stated in a tweet.
Until the conclusion of the investigation into recent allegations, I am honored to assume the role of interim Chairwoman & CEO. I love @WWE and all it continues to do to entertain billions around the world. https://t.co/E2MushpoSG
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) June 17, 2022
In an interesting note, Vince will still be in charge of creative for all of WWE programming. That includes RAW and SmackDown. Laurinaitis’ status in the company was not discussed within the statement. For now, he will be continuing his duties as Head of Talent Relations.
McMahon allegedly hired a woman at a $100,000 annual salary but then increased the salary to $200,000 following a sexual relationship, according to the WSJ. An anonymous email sent to the WWE Board by an alleged friend of the paralegal claimed McMahon “gave her like a toy” to Laurinaitis, according to the WSJ. The investigation’s findings also included older nondisclosure agreements to settle claims by other female WWE employees.
The board, which features Stephanie McMahon, Paul “HHH” Levesque, and President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan, hired the New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP to conduct the investigation. Other members of the board represent organizations such as General Motors, Words + Pictures, Versus, and Barstool Sports.
In another release, WWE stated that McMahon, 76, will be appearing on WWE SmackDown on June 17. It is unknown what McMahon will be doing or saying on the live televised program.
McMahon is married to Linda McMahon, who served as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration under former President Donald Trump. Vince McMahon has had legal issues in the past. He was indicted (and later acquitted) on federal charges relating to anabolic steroids in 1993.