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Vince McMahon Returns To WWE Board Despite Sexual Abuse Allegations: Here's Why

Benzinga · 01/06/2023 11:53

Vince McMahon, the boisterous and flamboyant majority owner of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (NYSE:WWE), who stepped down from his long-tenured CEO position in July, returned to the board of directors on Friday to lead the review process for the potential sale of the company.

What Happened: McMahon elected himself and former company co-presidents, George Barrios and Michelle Wilson, to the board of directors. The move resulted in the resignation of two other board members and the removal of three current WWE board members.

McMahon, in his capacity as controlling shareholder of the company, has removed JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey Speed and Alan Wexler from the board.

“Today, we announce that the founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, will be returning to the Board,” said co-CEOs Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan. “We also welcome back Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to our Board of Directors. Together, we look forward to exploring all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”

Why It Matters: In response to a board inquiry into many "hush fund" payouts to women who accused him of sexual misconduct, McMahon resigned from his positions as chairman and CEO in July 2022.

McMahon's intention to rejoin the company was made public in December amid reports of new legal demands from a former referee, Rita Chatterton, who accused him of rape.

At the time, McMahon blamed bad counsel for his resignation.

The WWE board responded to McMahon's letter of intent to rejoin the organization by saying that they were ready to cooperate with him on a review process for a sale but that they all believed that his rejoining the organization was not in the interests of shareholders.

In response, McMahon stated that if he is not named executive chairman to oversee a review process, he will not, in his capacity as majority owner, endorse or approve any media-rights agreement or sale.
Price action: Shares of WWE climbed 22.32% Friday to $88.12, according to data from Benzinga Pro

Next: 10 WWE Things That Cost Less Than Vince McMahon's Hush Money