After decades of serving as the CEO of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Vince McMahonIs to step down.
The media organization’s Board of Directors announced on Friday, June 17, that McMahon, 76, had “voluntarily” decided to step down from his role as both Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board as the company conducts an investigation into his behavior. McMahon was allegedly involved in misconduct and paid a $3million settlement to a former employee following an alleged affair. According to a Wall Street Journal Report earlier in the month.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” the North Carolina native said in a statement released by WWE. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
In the former wrestler’s absence, daughter Stephanie McMahonAs interim CEO and Chairwoman
“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” Stephanie, 45, wrote in her own statement on Friday. “I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings.”
Vince has been the head of the wrestling organization for many decades after he took over the World Wide Wrestling Federation from Vincent McMahon. He has made it a pop culture phenomenon. (Vince notably changed the WWWF’s name to WWE in 2002.)
“I’m always concerned about what’s best for the audience — always,” Vince said of his career tenure during an appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show” in March. “What does the audience want? And if you have dead weight around you — if we have a situation whereby someone not cutting it, where maybe you have a situation for someone else, and then it’s like, ‘OK, it’s probably the best thing.’”
The Alpha Entertainment founder has even enlisted many of his family members — including wife Linda McMahon, son Shane McMahonStephanie, Stephanie, and their son-in law Paul “Triple H” Levesque — to work beside him at WWE.
“If you built something, you should want it to grow and prosper, with or without a family member,” Vince told Pat McAfeeearlier this year. “The business is best for everyone. It is important to consider the family as well as the employees. You have to do what’s right for the business.”
Stephanie was the first to make headlines when she announced her plans to take a sabbatical after being promoted to executive within the company.
“As of tomorrow, I am taking a leave of absence from the majority of my responsibilities at WWE,” the Connecticut native tweeted on May 19. “WWE is a lifelong legacy for me and I look forward to returning to the company that I love after taking this time to focus on my family.”