Vince McMahon: who is WWE CEO, why did he step down, affair allegations and new contract explained

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If WWE gets sold the new contract means McMahon would get a multimillion dollar payout

Vince McMahon, the CEO and Chairman of the board of WWE has accepted a new two-year contract after he ‘‘voluntarily stepped back” from his responsibilities in May 2022.

The 76-year-old was previously under investigation for alleged misconduct after the Wall Street Journal reported claims he had paid an ex-employee $3 million to keep quiet about an affair. WWE Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis was also been caught up in the alleged scandal.

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McMahon, who bought the company from his father in 1982, officially returned to his role in January 2023, with the new contract dating back to then. WWE is looking to sell the company, with McMahon getting a multimillion dollar payout if this happens anytime soon. So who is Vince McMahon and why did he step down? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Vince McMahon?

McMahon has been the chairman and CEO of WWE since 1982. A third generation wrestling promoter, he grew up in North Carolina. It was his father that created WWE, buying it in 1972 and transforming it into a global phenomenon, with the brand now broadcast in 150 countries around the world and in over 30 languages. Its success has made McMahon a billionaire with a net worth of $2.9 billion according to Forbes.

McMahon has been married to his wife Linda since 1966 and the couple have two children, Shane and Stephanie who is married to professional wrestler Triple H who retired from wrestling in 2022 and currently works as the executive vice president for Global Talent Strategy & Development of WWE.

Vince McMahon appears in the ring during a WWE Monday Night Raw show (Pic: Getty Images)Vince McMahon appears in the ring during a WWE Monday Night Raw show (Pic: Getty Images)
Vince McMahon appears in the ring during a WWE Monday Night Raw show (Pic: Getty Images)

Why did he step down?

McMahon stepped down after allegations of misconduct were uncovered during an investigation by the Wall Street Journal.

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WWE released a statement, which reads: “WWE and the Board of Directors today announced that a Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by its Chairman and CEO Vincent McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations, and that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation.

“McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.” McMahon commented briefly on the investigation saying: “I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”

What are the misconduct allegations?

The Wall Street Journal has reported claims McMahon made multi-million dollar payments to women he had allegedly had sexual relationships with. One allegation included a former employee who left the company in 2022 after receiving a £3 million payment.

In a statement, WWE have said: “WWE and its board of directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously. The independent directors of the board engaged independent legal counsel to assist them with an independent review. In addition, the special committee and WWE will work with an independent third-party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture.” They added that WWE “do not expect to have further comment until the investigation is concluded.”

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Is he back as the chairman?

McMahon signed a new 2 year contract this week which means he will serve as the Executive Chairman and be part of the Board of Directors. According to Marca, he will earn an impressive salary of $1.2 million, complete with a 175 percent bonus target.

His contract agreement states: “McMahon’s employment shall, at all times, be on an at-will basis, so that either WWE or McMahon may terminate his employment, and this agreement, with or without cause or reason, at any time. However, if McMahon intends to terminate his employment, he shall provide WWE with at least 60 days advance written notice.” It also grants him the rights to his life story in the event that the company gets sold.

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