WWE’s Vince McMahon is back after misconduct investigation

Jan 5, 2023, 8:37 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 12:25 pm
FILE - Vince McMahon stands at Republican state convention in Hartford, Conn., Friday, May 18, 2012...

FILE - Vince McMahon stands at Republican state convention in Hartford, Conn., Friday, May 18, 2012. McMahon is rejoining the board of WWE several months after he stepped down as CEO and chairman of the sports entertainment company during an an investigation into alleged misconduct. Shares surged more than 22% in midday trading on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

Vince McMahon is rejoining the board of WWE several months after he retired from the sports entertainment company during an investigation into alleged misconduct.

WWE said Friday that McMahon, the founder and majority shareholder of WWE, would return as executive chairman. It also announced a board shakeup.

Shares surged more than 22%.

McMahon retired as WWE’s chairman and CEO in July. He had stepped down temporarily from the posts a month earlier. The Wall Street Journal reported over the summer that McMahon agreed to pay more than $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.

The Stamford, Connecticut, company said Friday that it would be looking at “all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”

There have been rumors that WWE may be interested in selling the organization to another entertainment company.

McMahon appeared to address that possibility in a letter to the board, dated Dec. 20, but published Friday.

“I believe WWE has a unique opportunity during this critical juncture to maximize value for its shareholders and all other stakeholders,” McMahon wrote. “Specifically, given the rapidly evolving media landscape in which more and more companies are seeking to own the intellectual property offered on their streaming platforms – I firmly believe that the best thing to do for all of WWE’s shareholders and other stakeholders is to undertake a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives.”

The company said in early November that an investigation of a special committee formed to look into the misconduct allegations was completed and that the committee was disbanded.

The company on Friday did not immediately return requests from The Associated Press seeking details about the findings of that committee. It did say at the time that the company was implementing some of the suggestions of the committee.

McMahon’s return coincides with the airing of some of WWE’s biggest premium live events of the year. The Royal Rumble takes place this month in Texas, while Wrestlemania, a two-day event, begins in April.

McMahon said in a prepared statement that he doesn’t intend for his return to have any impact on the roles, duties or responsibilities of WWE’s existing management team. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, serves as co-CEO, along with Nick Khan. McMahon’s son-in-law, Paul Levesque, who wrestled under the name Triple H, serves as chief content officer.

McMahon controlled a majority of company shares even after his retirement, giving him the power to engineer a board shakeup upon his return. Three board members, JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey R. Speed and Alan M. Wexler, were ousted to make room for McMahon and two other board members, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios.

Vince McMahon has been among the most recognizable faces at WWE for decades.

When he purchased what was then the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, wrestling matches took place at small venues and appeared on local cable channels.

WWE matches are now held in professional sports stadiums and the company has a sizeable overseas following.

The organization underwent a seismic transformation under McMahon with events like WrestleMania, a premium live production that draws millions of fervent viewers.

Revenue in 2021 exceeded $1 billion for the first time and the company has television deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. It announced a multi-year expansion of its original programming partnership with A&E in May 2022.

WWE stars have become crossover sensations, including Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
19 hours ago
This photo provided by Adriana Medina shows Guillermo Medina and his wife, Adriana, with their chil...
Associated Press

Recording: Wife told police mentally ill husband had gun

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police in Culver City, California, released body camera footage Thursday showing events before officers shot an unarmed man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the back last year, including audio recordings of his estranged wife telling police he was armed and dangerous. In the footage, officers are seen chasing after Guillermo Medina […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

UN envoy: Iraq’s new leaders must keep fighting corruption

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Iraq urged the country’s new government Thursday to keep fighting corruption and move quickly on much-needed economic, fiscal and financial reforms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the U.N. Security Council many other areas also need immediate government attention, among them ensuring human rights, resolving issues with the Kurdistan […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Voters wait in line outside a pavilion at Center Street Park shortly before the polling site...
Associated Press

Trump campaign staff on 2020 election lies: ‘fan the flame’

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A newly released audio recording offers a behind-the-scenes look at how former President Donald Trump’s campaign team in a pivotal battleground state knew they had been outflanked by Democrats in the 2020 presidential election. But even as they acknowledged defeat, they pivoted to allegations of widespread fraud that were ultimately debunked […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

ASEAN foreign ministers meet under shadow of Myanmar crisis

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Southeast Asian foreign ministers are meeting in Indonesia’s capital Friday for talks bound to be dominated by the deteriorating situation in Myanmar despite an agenda focused on food and energy security and cooperation in finance and health. Myanmar belongs to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but the annual ministers’ […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
WWE’s Vince McMahon is back after misconduct investigation