Vince McMahon is retiring from WWE amid an ongoing misconduct investigation, the longtime CEO announced on Friday.
"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."
McMahon continued, "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."
The news comes after McMahon announced in June that he would be stepping down from his role as WWE's chairman and CEO amid an investigation by the company's board of directors. The Wall Street Journal reported that McMahon made payouts amounting to $12 million to various women, including WWE employees, in exchange for their silence about alleged affairs and sexual misconduct.
As reported by The WSJ, McMahon allegedly paid $7.5 million to a former wrestler who claimed the executive coerced her into oral sex, demoted her, and declined to renew her contract when she denied him additional sexual encounters.
Despite the disparaging reports, McMahon has cooperated with the investigation, revealing in a statement, "I have pledged my complete cooperation... I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are."
McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, and WWE president Nick Khan will serve as co-CEOs, with Stephanie also serving as chairwoman. Stephanie McMahon also pledged to cooperate with the investigation and stated that she plans to work to ensure a "safe and collaborative workplace" going forward.
Kirstie Renae is a writer, blogger, and Austin-based actress with a penchant for binge-watching TV with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter @KirstieRenae.
TOPICS: Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Sexual Misconduct, WWE