WWE announces major Vince McMahon news
Vince McMahon retired as chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment nearly six months ago amid a sexual misconduct scandal, but he is now officially back.
McMahon on Thursday announced his plans to return to day-to-day operations with WWE in order to “fully capitalize” on the upcoming media rights negotiations. The 77-year-old said he had asked to be reinstated as executive chairman of the board along with board seats for former WWE co-presidents Michelle Wilson and George Barrios.
The plan has now been executed. An SEC filing released on Friday morning showed that McMahon is back on the publicly traded WWE’s Board of Directors along with Barrios and Wilson. Alan Wexler, JoEllen Lyons Dillon, and Jeffrey Speed have been removed from the board. WWE also put out a statement addressing the change.
WWE’s Board of Directors said last month that they supported McMahon returning to help deal with upcoming media rights negotiations but did not feel he should serve as an “officer, director or employee” of the organization while the sexual misconduct allegations against him are under investigation. McMahon has apparently agreed to the conditions.
“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms,” McMahon said Thursday. “My return will allow WWE, as well as any transaction counterparties, to engage in these processes knowing they will have the support of the controlling shareholder.”
WWE has rights deals with Fox and USA that expire next year. Negotiations with the two networks will likely begin in the near future.
McMahon retired a month after WWE’s Board of Directors announced it was launching an investigation into allegations that McMahon paid millions in hush money to a former WWE employee with whom he had an affair. A story that was published last month then detailed new sexual assault allegations.
McMahon purchased the business that would eventually become WWE from his father in 1982. He has grown it into a multi-billion dollar company.