Vince McMahon retires as WWE chairman and CEO in midst of affair hush money investigation

Stephanie McMahon, Vince's daughter, takes over as WWE chairwoman. She shares CEO role with Nick Kahn.

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Saturday, July 23, 2022
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Vince McMahon is stepping aside from his role as CEO and chairman of WWE during the investigation. His daughter, Stephanie, will serve as the interim CEO and chairwoman.

STAMFORD, Connecticut -- Vince McMahon, the chairman, and CEO of sports entertainment giant WWE, said he's retiring from the role a month after he announced he would step back in the midst of an investigation into alleged hush money payments to multiple extra-marital partners.

"As I approach 77 years old, I feel it's time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE," McMahon said in a statement released on Friday.

The executive, who also serves as the figurehead for the company's on-air creative product, did not directly mention the current probe continuing into his alleged misconduct.

The video above is from a June 17, 2022, report on McMahon stepping aside from his executive roles.

In June, Stephanie McMahon, Vince's daughter and WWE executive, was appointed to fill the chairman and CEO roles for her father.

Vince McMahon's statement on Friday announces Stephanie as one of his permanent successors.

"I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives - in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan," McMahon's statement read.

McMahon ended his statement by indicating that he's not necessarily ending his relationship with the company that he originally acquired from his father four decades ago.

"As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can. My personal thanks to our community and business partners, shareholders, and Board of Directors for their guidance and support through the years," McMahon concluded.

Vince, whose wife Linda McMahon served as administrator in the Small Business Administration under Pres. Trump, was the subject of a Wall Street Journal report of a secret $3 million settlement with a former female employee, who was hired as a paralegal in 2019.

The Journal's report describes a separation agreement, which was signed in January, meant to prevent the former employee from discussing her relationship with McMahon or making disparaging comments about him. An email sent to WWE board members March 30 indicates that the 76-year-old McMahon hired the former staffer, 41, on a $100,000 salary and then gave her a raise to $200,000 after the start of the alleged sexual relationship with her.

Since the report, the Journal has gone on to reveal additional payments to other women stretching over the past 16 years, totaling more than $12 million.

Four women - all formerly affiliated with WWE - signed agreements with McMahon that bar them from discussing their relationships with him, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the deals and documents it reviewed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.