WWE: McMahon departs amid investigation

Investigation in WWE forces change of address; McMahon steps aside

Vince McMahon will step down as WWE CEO and Chairman during an investigation into alleged misconduct involving the organization’s leader and public face.

McMahon will continue to monitor WWE’s creative content during the investigation, World Wrestling Entertainment said on Friday. McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, will serve as CEO and interim president, the organization said.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the board was investigating a $3 million settlement that McMahon paid to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had a consensual affair.

“I have pledged my full cooperation with the special committee investigation and will do my best to support the investigation. I also promised to accept the findings and the outcome of the investigation, whatever it may be,” McMahon said in a prepared statement Friday.

The employee, hired as a paralegal in 2019, has had a separation agreement from January that prevents her from discussing her relationship with McMahon or disparaging him, the Journal reported.

The board’s investigation, which began in April, found other older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former WWE employees of misconduct by McMahon and John Laurinaitis, WWE’s head of talent relations, the Journal reported.

Aside from the investigation into McMahon and Laurinaitis’ alleged misconduct, WWE said the company and its special committee will work with an independent group to conduct a comprehensive review of its compliance program, human resources function and overall culture.

Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fell 4% before the opening bell on Friday.

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