Linda McMahon Steps Down As WWE CEO For U.S. Senate Run

WWE CEO Linda McMahon is swapping the wrestling ring for the political ring, joining an increasingly crowded field for the Connecticut U.S. Senate seat currently held by Christopher Dodd.

In a terse statement Wednesday, WWE said that McMahon has stepped down as CEO for the Senate run, adding that her husband and WWE chairman Vince McMahon will take on the additional role of CEO.

"[Vince] McMahon will be supported by the seasoned executive management team already in place and led by chief operating officer and board member, Donna Goldsmith." WWE said in a statement.

Linda McMahon said last month that she was considering a run for the Senate, and that she would step down as CEO if she decided to make a run for office.

While McMahon's decision doesn't come as a complete surprise, it most likely was influenced by what many pundits believe is Dodd's vulnerability. The Democratic Senator has been declining in the polls for months, according to published reports, especially after it was revealed that he was one of several lawmakers that had received discounted mortgages from Countrywide Financial, a troubled mortgage banker bought by Bank of America last year.

Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee, was cleared of any legal wrongdoing by a Senate Ethics panel in August. But that panel also chastised the Senator for not keeping a close enough eye on his finances. A recent poll found Dodd's approval numbers had risen.

McMahon would join an increasingly crowded Republican slate for Dodd's seat -- former Rep. Rob Simmons, Connecticut state senator Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley have all declared their candidacy. Dodd plans to run for a sixth term next year.

McMahon co-founded WWE with her husband and has served as CEO since 1997. In the second quarter, revenue rose 7% to $138.8 million and operating cash flow more than doubled to $28.1 million.