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Vince McMahon steps down as WWE Chairman and CEO

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Vince McMahon steps down as WWE Chairman and CEO

NEW YORK — Vince McMahon is stepping down as CEO and president of World Wrestling Entertainment during an investigation into a report that he agreed to pay money to shut up a former employee for an affair, the company announced Friday.

WWE said in a statement that a “Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into the alleged misconduct of its Chairman and CEO Vincent McMahon and John Laurinaitis, Head of Talent Relations, and that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily withdrawn from his responsibilities.” as chief executive officer and chairman of the board until the conclusion of the investigation.

McMahon is cooperating with the investigation, WWE said, and “will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE creative content during this period.”

“I have pledged to cooperate fully with the Special Committee’s investigation and will do my best to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever it may be,” McMahon said in a statement. .

McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, will serve as CEO and interim president, WWE said.

Friday’s move follows a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday that McMahon agreed to a secret $3 million settlement with the former employee. The separation agreement, which was signed in January, is intended to prevent the woman from discussing her relationship with McMahon or making disparaging comments about him, according to the Journal. The report, which cites documents and accounts from people familiar with the investigation, says an investigation began in April and has uncovered other confidentiality agreements over the years related to allegations of misconduct by former employees against McMahon and Laurinaitis.

In its statement, WWE said no further comment was expected until the investigation was complete. The company did not specify the accusations against McMahon.

McMahon purchased the then-World Wrestling Federation from his father, Vincent J. McMahon, in 1982 and built the company into a global wrestling powerhouse and media conglomerate that has produced crossover stars such as Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John. Dinner.

WWE is a publicly traded company, but McMahon still has the majority of shareholder voting power.

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