Jul 22, 2022 - Economy

Vince McMahon retires from the WWE following hush money scandal

Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

Vince McMahon, the longtime leader of World Wrestling Entertainment announced on Friday that he's retiring, five weeks after the Wall Street Journal first reported that McMahon had secretly paid off a former employee with whom he allegedly had an affair.

Why it matters: In the weeks following that story, the Wall Street Journal reported that McMahon had paid out $12 million to four women to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity while acting as Chairman and CEO of the company.

  • McMahon stepped down from his role as WWE chairman and CEO last month as the company's board investigated his behavior, and vowed to corporate with the investigation.
  • McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named interim CEO and board chairwoman shortly thereafter.

What they're saying: “As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE," McMahon said in a statement.

  • "I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives – in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon [McMahon's daughter] and Co-CEO Nick Khan."
  • "As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can."

The big picture: Shares in WWE spiked in response to the news in after-hours trading, suggesting investors are keen to put the saga behind the company.

  • WWE reported record revenues of $1.1 billion last year, thanks in part to the return of large-scale events post-COVID.
  • Under McMahon, the company struck a massive, multi-year deal with Peacock last year that gives the NBCU-owned streamer exclusive rights to WWE Network in the U.S.
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