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WWE CEO Vince McMahon shockingly announces his retirement

Jason Burgos

Vince McMahon, one of the most iconic and influential figures in professional wrestling history and the creator of the global know brand that is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced his retirement from the company.

In recent weeks, the decades-long CEO of WWE has been embroiled in a major scandal after the Wall Street Journal published a story reporting a multi-million dollar hush money payment the 76-year-old had made to a former employee earlier this year, and that the company’s board of directors was investigating the incident.

The news rocked the publicly-traded organization to its core and led McMahon to take the bold step of indefinitely stepping down from his post as CEO. However, he decided to remain in his role as the head of the creative side of WWE’s broadcast product.

Related: WWE’s Vince McMahon reportedly paid $12M in recent hush payments

Well, that too is now over after McMahon released a statement on Friday and revealed he would be officially retiring from his massively successful creation.

Nick Khan named Co-CEO of WWE following Vince McMahon’s retirement

wwe, vince mcmahon
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. 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.

Vince McMahon’s statement on his retirement

While there was certainly evidence that McMahon’s tenure with the company could be nearing an end — especially after a second Wall Street Journal report that included three more payments to bring the total to $12 million — there still was doubt it would actually happen.

Following the start of the scandal, McMahon appeared on both WWE Raw and Smackdown Live for the first time in quite some time in what seemed to be a show of bravado in the face of the allegations.

However, in the end, the savvy businessmen in him may have decided it would be better to leave gracefully of his own accord than be forced out by the organization’s board of directors. McMahon still remains a majority shareholder of the company and his daughter Stefanie McMahon — who was installed by the board as interim CEO last month — will serve as a Co-CEO with top executive Nick Khan.

McMahon’s son-in-law Paul Levesque — AKA the WWE legend Triple H — recently returned from serious heart surgery and will now oversee the talent relations side of the company and remains an executive vice president.

Under McMahon’s guidance over the last 40 years, the billion-dollar company has grown into a massive global entertainment brand that airs its content in every major market around the world. WWE has seen consistent increases in income and has delivered record revenue in recent years.