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Vince McMahon temporarily steps down as CEO of WWE following misconduct allegations

June 17, 2022, 2:20 PM UTC

Vince McMahon, the colorful CEO and chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, has stepped back from his executive role at the company following reports of misconduct and an ongoing investigation by the company’s board.

Stephanie McMahon, his daughter and former chief brand officer at the company (who took a leave of absence less than a month ago) will assume the duties of interim CEO and chairman.

The shake-up at the company follows a Wall Street Journal report that the WWE board was investigating McMahon over a $3 million settlement he allegedly secretly agreed to pay a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair. WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis was also being investigated, the Journal reported.

“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation,” said McMahon in a statement. “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”

The Journal reports that since the investigation began in April, the board has found other, older NDAs involving former female WWE employees’ claims of misconduct against McMahon and Laurinaitis.

McMahon is not stepping away from the company, however. He will remain in charge of the company’s creative content. He will also appear on Friday’s SmackDown program on Fox, likely in his bombastic “Mr. McMahon” character.

Stephanie McMahon stepped back from her role with the company on May 20 “for the foreseeable future” to focus on family. Her husband, Paul Levesque, who performed as “Triple H” in WWE, underwent emergency heart surgery in September 2021 and formally retired from the ring at this year’s WrestleMania.

“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”

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