Following his daughter’s departure, Vince McMahon was ‘unanimously elected’ executive chairman of the WWE board, the business declared on Tuesday.
Stephanie McMahon, the chairwoman and co-CEO of WWE, is permanently retiring.
The 45-year-old thanked WWE for giving her the “chance of a lifetime” as she “officially resigned” from the organization on Tuesday.
Following her declaration, Vince McMahon, 77, was “unanimously elected” to serve as executive chairman of the WWE board, the business said in a release.
“Dear WWE Universe, About 8 months ago, I took a leave of absence and, within a few weeks, unexpectedly had the opportunity of a lifetime,” Stephanie wrote on Twitter about her May 2022 decision to step back from the company to “focus on my family.”
“I had the privilege to return as the Co-CEO and Chairwoman of the Board of WWE. I cannot say how proud I am to have led what I consider the world’s greatest company, working alongside a remarkable leadership team and one of the strongest executives I have known in my Co-CEO, Nick Khan.”
Then. Now. Forever. Together. pic.twitter.com/8dqr5reIiv
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) January 10, 2023
“Our Founder, Vince McMahon, has returned as Executive Chair and is leading an exciting process regarding strategic alternatives,” added Stephanie. “With Nick’s leadership and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque as Chief Content Officer, am confident WWE is in the perfect place to continue to provide unparalleled creative content and drive maximum value for shareholders.”
Stephanie added that she was happy to leave WWE in “such a strong position” and looked forward to “cheering on WWE from the other side of the business, where I started when I was a little kid, as a pure fan.”
“I will always remain dedicated to WWE. I truly love our company, employees, Superstars, and fans. And I am grateful to all of our partners,” added Stephanie. “Thank you for everything. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
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In response, Vince McMahon stated in the announcement that he had given Stephanie “full support for her personal decision.”
“I’ll forever be grateful that she offered to step in during my absence and I’m truly proud of the job she did co-leading WWE,” he continued. “Stephanie has always been the ultimate ambassador for our company, and her decades of contributions have left an immeasurable impact on our brand.”
His comeback comes almost six months after he voluntarily resigned as CEO of WWE amid claims that he paid a former worker $3 million to conceal an affair.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to announce that Vince wanted to take back his position; he later verified it on Jan. 5.
“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,” Vince said a statement.
“The only way for WWE to fully capitalize on this opportunity is for me to return as Executive Chairman and support the management team in the negotiations for our media rights and to combine that with a review of strategic alternatives,” he added. “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.”
Forbes reports that the WWE’s existing contract with Fox will expire in 2024.
As of June 2020, According to The Wall Street Journal, the company started an investigation in April 2020 after the board was informed via anonymous email of an alleged $3 million payment Vince made to a female paralegal to keep her from talking about their alleged sexual relationship or making negative remarks about him.
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According to the WSJ piece, the parties signed the contract in January 2020, and Vince paid the woman out of his pocket.
The contact between Vince and the now-former employee was consensual; a company spokesperson told WSJ.
Stephanie has been a part of the WWE since 2000 and has 18 years of ring experience. She wed WWE star Paul “Triple H” Levesque in 2003, and the two are parents to three kids: daughters Aurora Rose (age 16), Murphy Claire (age 14), and Vaughn Evelyn (12).
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