Vince McMahon intends to return to WWE to try to sell the company even though he retired from the organization in July 2022.
On July 22nd, former WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon tweeted this statement.
The reason Vince retired at the time was due to several “hush money” payments that were discovered about multiple affairs he had with different women in the company’s history. It brought a lot of negative attention to the company, so Vince chose to walk away.
In his absence, Vince’s daughter Stephanie McMahon took over as Chairwoman along with the Co-CEO job title joined by Nick Khan, who is also Co-CEO. Stephanie’s husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque took over the WWE creative team as the Chief Content Officer meaning he was in charge of Raw, Smackdown and WWE main roster from a creative standpoint, as well as overseeing all talent.
“Vince McMahon, who has majority voting power through his ownership of WWE’s Class-B stock, has told the company that he is electing himself and two former co-presidents and directors, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios, to the board, the people said. The move to reinstate Mr. McMahon, which the board previously rebuffed, and the others will require three current directors to vacate their positions.”
“Mr. McMahon, whose abrupt departure in July 2022 followed disclosures by The Wall Street Journal of multiple payouts to women who had alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity, expects he will be able to assume the role of executive chairman, though he would need board approval for that, the people said.”
It isn’t clear where that would leave his daughter, Stephanie McMahon. After his departure, she took over as chairwoman and co-CEO alongside Nick Khan, the company’s former president.”
The Wall Street Journal story noted that Vince sent a letter to WWE’s board in late December because he “believes there is a narrow window to kick off a sales process because WWE’s media rights.” The current TV deals for Raw and Smackdown expire in October 2024 and are expected to be renegotiated in the first half of 2023 most likely.
As the story continued, Wall Street Journal made it clear that Vince wants direct involvement regarding WWE’s future media deals.
“Mr. McMahon believes the media landscape is evolving quickly and more companies are looking to own the intellectual property they use on their streaming platforms, making WWE an attractive takeover target, the people said. WWE, which generates most of its revenue from selling content rights, posted its first year of over $1 billion in revenue in 2021. The company currently has a market value of just over $5 billion.”
“He has communicated to the board that unless he has direct involvement as executive chairman from the outset of a strategic review, he won’t support or approve any media-rights deal or sale, the people said.”
There have been on statements from WWE’s current regime in reply to all of this. We will update this story as more information comes out in the days and weeks ahead.