WWE CEO Steps Down Amid Misconduct, Hush Money Investigation
WWE CEO and chairman Vince McMahon has voluntarily stepped down as the company investigates allegations of misconduct.
"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," McMahon said in a statement released by WWE.
The committee has appointed Stephanie McMahon — McMahon's daughter and the company's chief brand officer — as CEO and chairwoman in the interim. McMahon will still retain his responsibilities pertaining to his creative content role amid the ongoing investigation.
What are the allegations of misconduct?
WWE special committee is investigating whether $3 million was secretly paid to a former employee to cover up an alleged affair with McMahon. The terms of the agreement demanded the unnamed employee remain silent on the matter and prevents her from "discussing her relationship with Mr. McMahon or disparaging him," according to the Wall Street Journal.
In emails acquired through the investigation, the committee discovered evidence of the relationship, as well as an increase in the employee's paralegal salary from $100,000 to $200,000, once the relationship between the two turned sexual. The board, however, has determined through the investigation so far that the relationship was consensual.
Other claims of misconduct were found against WWE's head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis.
McMahon's attorney, Jerry McDevitt, has emphasized that the former employee never made any claims of harassment against McMahon.
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