Six months after retiring from WWE and leaving his position as chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon is back with the WWE.
“Today, we announce that the founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, will be returning to the Board,” said Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, Co-CEO Nick Khan and Chief Content Officer Paul Levesque. “We also welcome back Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to our Board of Directors. Together, we look forward to exploring all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”
In a statement McMahon says he has “taken necessary actions to position the WWE to capitalize on a unique opportunity to maximize long-term value for all WWE shareholders.”
McMahon, as well as former WWE co-presidents and board members Michelle Wilson and George Barrios have returned to the board requiring the removal of three board members: JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey R. Speed and Alan M. Wexler.
In reaction to the news of McMahon’s return, Ignace Lahoud and Man Jit Singh have resigned from the board.
The board now consists of:
- Vince McMahon
- Stephanie McMahon
- Nick Khan
- Paul Levesque
- Steve Koonin
- Michelle McKenna
- Steve Pamon
- George Barrios
- Michelle Wilson
McMahon is expected to assume the role of Executive Chairman of the Board. McMahon states he has returned to the company to help in its eventual sale.
“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms,” said Mr. McMahon. “The only way for WWE to fully capitalize on this opportunity is for me to return as Executive Chairman and support the management team in the negotiations for our media rights and to combine that with a review of strategic alternatives. My return will allow WWE, as well as any transaction counterparties, to engage in these processes knowing they will have the support of the controlling shareholder.”
McMahon has changed several company bylaws, one of which is that the company cannot be sold without his consent.
McMahon maintains that he won’t be assuming his former roles in the company.
“WWE has an exceptional management team in place, and I do not intend for my return to have any impact on their roles, duties, or responsibilities,” he stated.
The SEC filing reveals that McMahon has been working on his return since December.
Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan have been co-CEOs since McMahon left the company. Both serve on the board along with Paul Levesque, the chief content officer.
McMahon exited the company last year after being investigated for payments he made to settle settle allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity with former WWE employees and subjects outside the company.