WWE investigates misconduct allegations against CEO Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon is voluntarily stepping back from his role as WWE CEO and chairman as the professional wrestling company investigates misconduct allegations against him, the WWE announced on Friday.
Driving the news: The WWE’s board is probing whether McMahon paid a "secret $3 million settlement" to an employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
State of play: The separation agreement, dating to January of this year, prevents the employee from "discussing her relationship with McMahon or disparaging him," per the Journal.
- The investigation has also revealed more nondisclosure agreements from former female WWE employees against McMahon and John Laurinaitis, the head of talent relations at WWE.
What they're saying: "WWE and its Board of Directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously," the company said in its statement.
Details: Stephanie McMahon, the elder McMahon's daughter, will serve as interim CEO and chairwoman.
- WWE sought independent counsel and will work with a third party to conduct a review of "the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture," per its statement.
- McMahon agreed to cooperate with the investigation and to support and accept the findings, per the statement.
Yes, but: McMahon will retain his role with the WWE's creative content team, meaning he will still be helping create its shows.
What's next: McMahon will appear on WWE Smackdown on Friday night, per the WWE.