Vince McMahon Steps Back as WWE CEO While Board Probes Misconduct Allegation

Vince McMahon Steps Back as WWE CEO While Board Probes Misconduct Allegation

WWE chairman Vince McMahon is “voluntarily” stepping aside from his responsibilities as the company’s CEO while the board of directors investigates misconduct claims against him.

In a statement from WWE and its board of directors, it was announced that Stephanie McMahon, Vince’s daughter and former Chief Brand Officer, has been named interim CEO and interim chairwoman. This marks Stephanie’s return to the company after she announced a leave of absence last month to “focus on family.”

“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. “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.”

The investigation came to light on Wednesday, June 15, when the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that the WWE board began an investigation regarding an alleged $3 million payment Vince paid a female paralegal to cover up an alleged sexual relationship. A WWE spokesperson said the relationship between Vince and the now-former employee was consensual and that the company is fully cooperating with the investigation.

“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 Vince in the latest WWE statement.

Despite stepping back as CEO and chairman, Vince will continue in his role as head of WWE’s creative content during this period “and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.” The board also is investigating alleged misconduct by WWE’s head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis.

“WWE and its Board of Directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously,” the statement concluded. “The Independent Directors of the Board engaged independent legal counsel to assist them with an independent review. In addition, the Special Committee and WWE will work with an independent third-party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture.”

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