Editors’ note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.
Vince McMahon, the longtime chairman and CEO of the WWE, announced his retirement on Friday afternoon.
A month ahead of his 77th birthday, the controversial figure, who finds himself embroiled in scandal stemming from reports that he has paid millions of dollars to cover up claims of sexual misconduct and infidelity, tweeted that it is time for him to step down from the company.
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE,” McMahon said in a statement. “Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you. 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.
“Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication, and passion as always. I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, and executives – in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan. As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can.”
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In mid-June, the Wall Street Journal reported that the WWE board was investigating a multimillion-dollar settlement that McMahon had agreed to pay a former paralegal with whom he had an affair in 2019.
Two days later, McMahon stepped down as CEO, with his daughter and former WWE Chief Business Officer Stephanie McMahon stepping into the role. At the time, it was unknown whether the move was temporary or permanent.
That night, a defiant McMahon appeared on SmackDown, indicating that he did not intend to fully separate himself from the company, or its entertainment product.
The situation escalated on July 8, with a follow-up report by the Wall Street Journal stating that McMahon had paid more than $12 million over the last 16 years to hush sexual misconduct and infidelity claims by four women.
Now, if McMahon’s tweet is to be taken at face value, his controversial tenure at the company is coming to a close.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.