Vince McMahon reinstated to the WWE Board of Directors; He says that he must approve the sale of WWE

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In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, it was revealed that former WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon has been reinstated to WWE’s board of directors.

According to the presentation shared by Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston, former WWE co-chairs George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have also returned as board members, while JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey Speed ​​and Alan Wexler have been removed from the board:

Brandon Thurston @Brandon Thurston

Vince McMahon is back on the WWE board of directors.

A new filing says that, effective immediately, Vince is including himself, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios on the board and removing independent directors Alan Wexler, JoEllen Lyons Dillon and Jeffrey Speed. HGzFZNvaXM

For thurstonThe filing also shows that McMahon has made changes to WWE’s bylaws that state that no company sales or media rights deals can be completed without his approval.

Lauren Thomas of the Wall Street Journal first reported on Thursday that McMahon was looking to return to WWE in some capacity after retiring in July while facing allegations of sexual misconduct. Thomas also reported that McMahon’s return was related to his desire to sell the company.

In a statement issued by McMahon, he explained the decision to come out of retirement and rejoin the board of directors:

“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased demand for quality content and live events across the industry and with more companies seeking to own intellectual property in their platforms. The only way WWE can capitalize on this opportunity is for me to come back as CEO and support the management team in negotiations for our media rights and combine that with a review of strategic alternatives. My return will allow WWE as well Like any counterparty to the transaction, participate in these processes knowing that you will have the support of the controlling shareholder.”

As McMahon mentioned, his majority stake in WWE allowed him to facilitate a comeback.

Joe Palazzolo, Ted Mann and Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal reported in July that McMahon paid four women a total of $12 million to keep quiet about sexual relations with him, as well as allegations of sexual misconduct.

Among the women was a former WWE employee with whom McMahon allegedly had an extramarital affair. He was reportedly paid $3 million by McMahon between 2019 and January 2022.

While McMahon made the payments from his personal funds, he did not report them to WWE’s board of directors, which was considered a violation since the payments were tied to WWE.

Most recently, Palazzolo and Mann reported in December that former WWE referee Rita Chatterton sought $11.75 million in damages from McMahon in November while accusing him of sexually assaulting her in a limousine in 1986.

The report also noted that another lawsuit was filed against McMahon in November by a spa manager who said McMahon sexually assaulted her in 2011.

McMahon has reportedly denied the allegations by both Chatterton and the spa manager, refusing to pay them for damages.

After McMahon stepped down as WWE Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer in July, a trio of executives saw their power in the company increase significantly.

McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named Chairman and Co-CEO, along with former WWE Chairman Nick Khan. Meanwhile, McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H took over the creative direction of the product.

According to Thurston, McMahon wrote a letter to the WWE board of directors on December 20 in which he expressed his desire to return as CEO and also gave a vote of confidence to Stephanie, Khan and Triple H:

Brandon Thurston @Brandon Thurston

Vince’s December 20 letter to the WWE board of directors, writing that he wants to return as CEO.

“Stephanie, Nick, Paul and the rest of the
The management team has my full and unconditional support…”

In response, the board suggested that McMahon’s return would not be in WWE’s best interest due to ongoing investigations into his conduct by the US Attorney’s Office and the SEC. That led McMahon to state that he would not approve any media rights deal without being allowed back into the fold:

WWE’s media rights deals with NBCUniversal and Fox are set to expire at the end of 2024, with negotiations expected to occur this year for new deals.

The lack of support from the company’s majority shareholder could hamper WWE’s negotiations, which may explain why the board relented and allowed McMahon to return.

Questions will now linger as to whether McMahon will attempt to extend his influence beyond media rights and sale negotiations, particularly when it comes to the creative side of the company.

McMahon apparently attempted to allay those concerns in his statement, writing that WWE management has his “full support and confidence,” adding that he does not intend for his return to affect the “roles, duties or responsibilities” of existing management. .

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