More details have emerged following an all-employee meeting at WWE Headquarters led by Ari Emanuel, Vince McMahon, Nick Khan, and Triple H.
On September 12th, WWE officially merged with UFC under parent company Endeavor to form TKO Group Holdings, Inc. Endeavor head Ari Emanuel is CEO of the new company, while Vince McMahon remains Executive Chairman of the Board.
While the merger was greeted with great fanfare at the New York Stock Exchange, it wasn’t a happy occasion for more than 100 WWE employees who were let go as a result of cost-cutting. Employee morale was said to be “decimated” after so many people lost their jobs, and WWE held a staff meeting on September 19th that was said to be a “rah rah” affair.
PWInsider reported that Vince McMahon, Nick Khan, and Ari Emanuel all spoke at the meeting, which lasted about 12-15 minutes. Now, PWInsider and Fightful Select have shed more light on what exactly was said.
“Unfortunate” WWE Cuts Addressed By Ari Emaunel & Vince McMahon At Staff Meeting
According to Fightful Select, Triple H and Executive Chairman Brad Blum were also in attendance at the staff meeting. Vince McMahon reportedly referred to Ari Emanuel as his “my new boss” following the merger.
Emanuel mentioned during the meeting that his daughter Ashlee has been working as a creative assistant for WWE. PWInsider notes that she’s been working with the company since well before the merger and she was recently engaged to be married.
When McMahon addressed his staff, Fightful Select reports that he said WWE had plateaued and become stagnant, so the merger was needed to take the company to the next level. This induced some groans and eyerolls from many in attendance, as WWE has been consistently touting record numbers. According to the report, this reinforced some beliefs that McMahon sold WWE in order to make sure he could return to the company.
Emanuel reportedly spoke about pursuing WWE in the past and having a long relationship with the company, noting that he’s often gone to McMahon for advice. He said he was excited for this new era.
Fightful Select also reports that the recent WWE cuts were addressed in the meeting. The layoffs were called “unfortunate,” but something that needed to happen.
While some people were reportedly of the belief that these cuts would not have taken place under Stephanie McMahon’s leadership, others pointed out that while she was well-respected, she would not have been able to stop the merger. Furthermore, her own team was dismantled prior to her resignation from WWE.