UPDATED 1/10, 7:15 p.m. ET: Stephanie McMahon took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to formally resign as her father Vince returns as executive chair, saying she’s looking forward to “cheering on WWE from the other side of the business, where I started when I was a little kid, as a pure fan.”
Steph opened her statement, “About 8 months ago, I took a leave of absence and within a few weeks, unexpectedly had the opportunity of a lifetime. I had the privilege to return as the Co-CEO and Chairwoman of the Board of WWE. I cannot put into words how proud I am to have led what I consider to be the greatest company in the world, working alongside a remarkable leadership team and one of the strongest executives I have known in my Co-CEO, Nick Khan.”
The 46-year-old industry veteran continued, “Our Founder, Vince McMahon, has returned as Executive Chair and is leading an exciting process regarding strategic alternatives. And with Nick’s leadership and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque as Chief Content Officer, I am confident WWE is in the perfect place to continue to provide unparalleled creative content and drive maximum value for shareholders. WWE is in such a strong position, that I have decided to return to my leave and take it one step further with my official resignation. I look forward to cheering on WWE from the other side of the business, where I started when I was a little kid, as a pure fan. I will always remain dedicated to WWE. I truly love our company, our employees, our Superstars, and our fans. And I am grateful to all of our partners. Thank you for everything. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
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UPDATED 1/7, 5:00 p.m. ET: Former WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon has been reinstated to the company’s board of directors.
WWE announced in a statement Friday that McMahon would return as executive chairman. The news arrives several months after the WWE founder retired amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Today, we announce that the founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, will be returning to the Board,” said Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, Co-CEO Nick Khan and Chief Content Officer Paul Levesque. “We also welcome back Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to our Board of Directors. Together, we look forward to exploring all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”
McMahon added, “WWE has an exceptional management team in place, and I do not intend for my return to have any impact on their roles, duties, or responsibilities.”
See original story from 1/5/2023 below.
Vince McMahon is reportedly angling for a return to the WWE with the intention of selling the company.
The Wall Street Journal reports McMahon told the WWE board that he plans on electing himself, as well as former co-presidents and directors Michelle Wilson and George Barrios. McMahon “sent a letter to WWE’s board in late December detailing his desire to return to the company he ran for four decades, to help spearhead a strategic-review process.”
Even though he still holds majority voting power through his stock in the company, McMahon will need to receive board approval. His previous attempts at reinstatement have fallen short. The most likely scenario that leads to McMahon, Wilson, and Barrios joining the board is three current directors would need to step down.
The motivation behind McMahon’s potential return to the WWE appears to be rooted in his desire to sell the company. The former WWE CEO “believes there is a narrow window to kick off a sales process because WWE’s media rights—including for its flagship programs Raw and SmackDown—are about to be renegotiated.”
An insider told WSJ that McMahon has pushed for “direct involvement as executive chairman from the outset of a strategic review,” threatening to oppose any sale or media rights deal, if his demand isn’t met. The board reportedly countered by welcoming him to work alongside them during the review process.
McMahon stepped down as chairman and CEO of the WWE last summer, as the board continued its investigation into misconduct allegations against him. His daughter Stephanie assumed the role on an interim basis. It was later reported that over the last 16 years, McMahon has paid $12 million to four women, all of whom were associated with the company, to prevent them from taking legal action over alleged sexual misconduct.
The board has asked McMahon to repay the undisclosed expenses incurred by the WWE from its investigation.