Longtime WWE chairman and chief executive Vince McMahon stepped down from his posts in July amid allegations of sexual misconduct. At the same time, WWE has received “regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands” around millions of dollars in payments related to the allegations.
WWE disclosed those inquiries in a security filing, revealing McMahon had made agreements to pay a total of $14.6 million to multiple women between 2006 and 2022. WWE said McMahon either already has or will pay all of those expenses using his own money. Still, those payments weren’t recorded in the company’s financial statements, so they’ll have to amend their records from 2019 onward.
News of McMahon’s retirement was a surprise to most people in the industry. The man had been in charge of WWE for 40 years since buying the business from his father in 1982. As the largest pro-wrestling brand in the world, WWE has partnerships with major streaming and corporate platforms, including Hulu, Fox Corp., and NBC Universal. McMahon’s departure could shake up the wrestling industry — or it could prove to make WWE even more lucrative.
Shares of WWE rose 8.4% on the first trading day after McMahon announced his retirement. Though they’ve dipped slightly, they’ve still remained higher than before his exit. Investors don’t always like change, but in this scenario, it may actually be welcome. McMahon has led WWE through its best years, shaping it into what it’s become today. Now that he’s gone, there are several potential options,