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WWE Names Stephanie McMahon Interim CEO Amid Misconduct Probe of Vince McMahon

Stephanie McMahon speaks onstage at Meet the Women Dominating Sports Media during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Hilton Austin on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.
Stephanie McMahon (Image credit: Shedrick Pelt/Getty Images for SXSW)

WWE’s board said Vince McMahon has “stepped back” from his responsibilities as CEO and chairman of the company while charges of misconduct are investigated and that Stephanie McMahon will serve as interim CEO and chairman.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the board was looking into a secret $3 million settlement McMahon agreed to pay to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair.

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vince McMahon (Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” Vince McMahon said in a statement.

The board said it was investigating McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations at WWE. McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content. WWE said McMahon will appear on Smackdown Friday night on Fox.

In May, McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, said she was stepping down from her role as CMO of WWE along with her husband, the wrestler and executive Paul Levesque.

“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company," she said in a statement. “It is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace. I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings.” ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.