Vince McMahon Stepping Down As CEO Of WWE During Misconduct Investigation

Vince McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, is stepping down from his role with the wrestling organization while an investigation is conducted into alleged sexual misconduct and a hush-money payment, the WWE board of directors announced Friday.

Vince McMahonPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

McMahon has led the company for 40 years after taking the mantle from his father in 1982, when it was known as the World Wrestling Federation. He’ll maintain control of the WWE’s creative output during the investigation, and the company announced he’d still appear on Friday night’s episode of SmackDown.

“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,” McMahon said in the company’s official statement.

McMahon, who has faced accusations of sexual misconduct in the past, is being investigated by the board for allegedly paying $3 million to a woman to cover up a consensual affair with a WWE paralegal,The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper also reported that the board’s investigation uncovered several additional nondisclosure agreements reached in relation to other misconduct claims against McMahon and Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis by women who worked for WWE.

McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, will relinquish her role as Chief Brand Officer and take over as CEO and chair of the board of directors in her father’s absence.

The company stated that in addition to investigating the allegations against Laurinaitis and McMahon, it would also hire an independent organization to review the company’s human resources and overall workplace culture.

The McMahon family’s involvement in wrestling can be traced back more than one hundred years, with Vince and his children regularly cast as villains in the show’s wrestling storylines. Since its shutdown of World Championship Wrestling in 2001, the company has achieved a near-monopoly of the industry.

That market domination has resulted in a family of billionaires, some of which have even dabbled in politics, with Linda McMahon, Vince’s wife running for U.S. Sentate seats twice. Instead of serving in that role, she went on to head the Small Business Administration for two years under former President Donald Trump.

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