Why did WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon retire?
With allegations of sexual misconduct against him mounting and an internal investigation ongoing, the WWE head decided it was best to step down.
As the face of the WWE for the last four decades, McMahon’s announcement will certainly be felt by the organization, but one has to consider the reason why he’s leaving his post.
WWE’s Vince McMahon retires from the WWE
According to his statement on Friday, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon has officially retired. With his announcement, McMahon brings to an end a career as the most recognized promoter in the history of professional wrestling. Aside from vacating the two aforementioned posts, McMahon will also relinquish his role as the head of the creative department and as such will no longer have any day-to-day responsibilities.
While it may come as a surprise to some, the news was perhaps expected by many others with the 76-year-old being embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal. Indeed, according to various reports from the Wall Street Journal, McMahon allegedly offered millions of dollars in hush money payments to a number of WWE employees and contractors across decades for things ranging from consensual affairs to unsolicited sexual advances. Following the initial report, McMahon temporarily stepped down from his CEO and chairman positions while his daughter, Stephanie, took over. At that point the WWE board began an internal investigation into the claims being brought against him.
What did Vince McMahon have to say?
As mentioned before, though McMahon had initially given up his management roles, he was still operating in the creative department where he was responsible for the creative decisions of the on-screen product. McMahon would also make frequent appearances on the weekly Raw and Smackdown programs. Interestingly, McMahon never addressed the allegations during those appearances, but rather focused on promotion and the fans. Where his statement is concerned, the now former WWE chairman and CEO was both complimentary and seemingly emotional in his farewell.
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you,” McMahon said in a statement. “I would like to thank my family for mightily contributing to our success, and I would also like to thank all of our past and present superstars and employees for their dedication and passion for our brand. Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment. I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.”
A look back at Vince McMahon and a look forward for the WWE
It was way back in 1982 when McMahon actually bought the promotion - then called the WWF - from his own father. ‘Daddy Mac’ then went on a march to success as he converted the organization into the most powerful and lucrative professional wrestling promotion in the world. Alongside his role as an executive, McMahon was frequently seen participating in the ring itself, including the now truly famous ‘evil boss’ storyline which involved the then anti-hero character of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Indeed, it was during this period - late 90s to early 2000s - known as the “Attitude Era” that the WWE enjoyed unprecedented popularity.
As for what’s next, it’s understood that McMahon’s daughter Stephanie along with Nick Khan will now operate as co-CEOs of the WWE. The news follows another internal change to management with the announcement of Paul Levesque - known to fans as Triple H - being appointed to the role of executive vice president of talent relations. Interestingly, Levesque and Stephanie McMahon were married back in 2003.