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Vince McMahon quits WWE amid misconduct investigation




Vince McMahon, a longtime World Wrestling Entertainment executive who has steered professional wrestling from a secondary curiosity to a mainstream phenomenon, has stepped down as chairman and CEO while the company’s board of directors investigating allegations of misconduct against him, the company said on Friday.

Stephanie McMahon, her daughter, will take over as CEO and interim president, the company said in a statement. Mr. McMahon will remain involved with creative content for WWE and remains committed to cooperating with the ongoing review, the company said.

I have pledged my full cooperation with the Special Committee’s investigation, and I will do my best to support the investigation, McMahon said in a statement. I am also committed to accepting the findings and results of the investigation, whatever they may be.

Wednesday, The The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. McMahon had agreed to pay a secret $3 million settlement to an employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, and that the council had been investigating since April. The investigation uncovered other nondisclosure agreements involving allegations of misconduct by Mr. McMahon, the Journal reported.

A lawyer for Mr. McMahon told the Journal that the employee made no allegations of harassment against Mr. McMahon and that he used personal funds to pay the settlement.

Far from being an anonymous executive, Mr. McMahon is one of the most recognizable faces in professional wrestling, embracing a swaggering public persona who is often at the center of the on-screen action. Since taking over his father’s wrestling company in 1982, Mr. McMahon has presided over its rise to a cultural giant, with over $1 billion in revenue by 2021. WWE programs air in 30 languages ​​and are distributed through NBCUniversal and Fox Sports, among others.

The company said it had engaged independent legal counsel to conduct the investigation and would also work with an independent organization to review the compliance program, the human resources function and the general culture of the company.

Mr. McMahon will appear on Friday Night SmackDown on Fox at 8 p.m. ET, the company said on Twitter.




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