(CTN News) – As part of an ongoing investigation involving allegations of hush money payments to cover up sexual misconduct, WWE CEO Vince McMahon will step down from the business side of the wrestling company, the WWE announced on Friday.
Vice-Chairman McMahon resigns while the board investigates allegations
In 1982, when the company was known as the World Wrestling Federation, McMahon took over for his father, who had been running it for 40 years before that. As part of the investigation, he will still be in charge of the creative direction of WWE, and he’ll be on SmackDown Friday night.
In the WWE’s wrestling stories, Vince McMahon and his children often appear as villains, a tradition that has been going on for more than a century. When World Championship Wrestling was shuttered in 2001, the company achieved a near-monopolistic position in the industry.
“My full co-operation with the Special Committee’s investigation will be pledged, and I will support the investigation in every way I can.In a statement issued by McMahon on behalf of the company, McMahon said, “I also pledge to accept whatever the investigation’s findings may be.”
In a Wednesday Wall Street Journal report, it was revealed that the board is investigating a $3 million compensation paid to a woman to cover up an alleged consensual affair between a WWE paralegal and McMahon. McMahon has previously been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Women who worked for WWE made allegations of misconduct against Vince McMahon and Talent Relations Head John Laurinaitis. Several nondisclosure agreements were also found to have been reached during the investigation.
Steph McMahon, Stephanie McMahon’s mother and vice chair of the board, will be in charge in his absence. Stephanie McMahon is the daughter of Vince McMahon and has been employed at WWE since 2006.It also said it would hire an outside company to review its human resources department and culture in addition to the investigation into the allegations against McMahon and Laurinaitis.
According to Vince McMahon in a statement, “I have offered my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee and I will do everything possible to support it. Also, I am ready to accept whatever the findings and the outcome of the investigation turn out to be.”
Stephanie McMahon Statement:
Stephanie McMahon commented, “I love this company and have pledged to work with the Independent Directors to enhance our culture and our workplace. It is very important to me that we all work together in a collaborative and safe environment.”. In addition to marshalling the support of the entire company to help complete the investigation and implement its recommendations, I have committed to do everything in my power to aid the Special Committee with its work.”
The company said in a statement that it takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously. “Independent legal counsel was engaged to assist the independent directors with the independent review
In addition to the settlement agreement with McMahon, the Journal reported there were other agreements with Laurinaitis. In an email to the Journal, a WWE spokesman confirmed that McMahon had a consensual relationship with the paralegal, who was hired by the executive in 2019. He also said that McMahon used his own funds to settle lawsuits, including the one involving Laurinaitis.
It has been decades since WWE first gained prominence as a professional wrestling brand, with a strong presence on prime-time television and on live tours. According to a quarterly earnings report released last month, the publicly traded company reported revenue of $1.1 billion, which included a five-year exclusive streaming agreement with NBCUniversal’s Peacock company.
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