Vince McMahon, WWE’s longtime chief executive, is stepping down from his position after a former employee accused him of sexual misconduct.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” the 76-year-old wrestling legend said in a statement. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
Initially reported by The Wall Street Journal, the former chairmen allegedly paid a $3 million settlement to a female WWE paralegal in order to keep their “consensual” affair under wraps. By January of 2022, a separation agreement was made that prohibited the employee “from discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him.”
In addition, the WSJ released the information that “other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr. McMahon.”
The investigation has been ongoing since April and alongside the former chairman, misconduct claims were allegedly found against John Laurinaitis, the company’s head of talent relations as well.
Although McMahon will no longer hold a position as CEO, he continues to be creatively involved with the organization as the investigation is ongoing. The organization also allowed him to appear on last Friday night’s wrestling showcase, “Smackdown,” which aired on Fox.
Stephanie McMahon becomes interim CEO of World Wrestling entertainment Inc. following her father’s misconduct investigation
McMahon has held the position of chief executive since 1982 when he took over his father’s role with the company. WWE will continue to be a family-led organization, as the 76-year-old’s daughter Stephanie will now be stepping up to fill in his shoes as WWE president.
“Until the conclusion of the investigation into recent allegations, I am honored to assume the role of interim Chairwoman & CEO,” she wrote on Twitter. “I love @WWE and all it continues to do to entertain billions around the world.”
For nearly 70 years, World Wreslting Entertainment Inc. has been a family business and to this day, members of the McMahon family are appointed to various roles in the organization. The organization announced that they are committing to keeping this investigation non-biased and have hired legal representatives from outside the company to ensure the misconduct allegations are taken seriously.
In a statement, the company announced that they take “all allegations of misconduct very seriously” and are doing everything in their power to conduct a “comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture.”
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