With the stunning revelation that Vince McMahon has stepped back as WWE CEO due to misconduct allegations, a new report highlights why he might just stay in power.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Vince McMahon’s own company board is investigating a $3 million payment said to have been made by him to a former employee of the company in return for them signing a non-disclosure agreement.
The employee was hired by the company as a paralegal in 2019 with the report saying an anonymous email was sent to WWE’s board on March 30th, 2022 by a friend of the employee in question which alleged that the employee’s salary was doubled from $100,000 to $200,000 after beginning an intimate relationship with the WWE Chairman.
This is not the only payment being probed after older NDAs also came to light involving allegations of misconduct made by former female WWE employees against both Vince McMahon and WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis.
The number of these NDAs is unknown but payments said to be made from McMahon’s personal funds, run into the millions of dollars. The paralegal at the centre of the $3 million claim was moved from the legal department of the company to work as Laurinaitis’ assistant in 2021.
WWE announced early on the 17th of June that McMahon was stepping back in his role as Chairman and CEO of WWE with Stephanie McMahon being named as his interim replacement.
Before that news broke, Dave Meltzer writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter explained why Vince McMahon may be able to stay in control of his company:
“Even though McMahon owns 38 percent of the stock, the nature of how the stock is set up is that he has 80 percent of the stock voting power. Essentially he could not be bought out without his approval, or removed without his approval, regardless of the findings. However, if he is considered by the Board of Directors and stockholders to be a liability, he could be pressured out.”
“There are a number of major Silicon Valley executives who have been accused of similar and less who have lost their positions in companies they’ve built. The story did get traction being covered by almost every major business outlet.”