Vince McMahon Has Vacated As CEO Of WWE After Huge Controversy And Investigation

Is this the end for him?

By Michileen Martin | Published

vince mcmahon

Even before wrestling legends like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena were born, Vince McMahon was starting his career in professional wrestling as an in-ring announcer for the World Wide Wrestling Federation; later the World Wrestling Federation or WWF. But now that legacy is being threatened. According to a statement from the WWE Board of Directors, McMahon has voluntarily stepped away from his responsibilities as CEO and Board Chairman. The news comes in the wake of a report that McMahon allegedly paid huge sums to keep an office affair quiet.

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal (via CNN) reported that Vince McMahon had allegedly paid out $3 million in a settlement to an employee with whom he had an affair. The settlement included a non-disclosure agreement which barred the employee from talking about her affair with McMahon or “disparaging him.” While WSJ’s report does not reveal the name of the employee in question, it says she is 41 while McMahon is 76. The unnamed employee was reportedly hired as a paralegal at an annual salary of $100,000, but WSJ says her salary was doubled as soon as she started sleeping with the WWE CEO.

The report further states that the alleged affair between Vince McMahon and the 41 year old employee may only be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Not only did McMahon allegedly have sexual relations with the employee, but the report says she was handed off “like a toy” to WWE’s head of talent relations John Laurinaitis. It also says that in the course of investigating McMahon’s alleged misconduct, other past allegations of sexual misconduct have been discovered; including other non-disclosure agreements and more accusations against the aforementioned Laurinaitis.

CNN points out that while WWE’s Board of Directors is pledging to investigate the matter thoroughly, there is reason to believe things will weigh heavily in Vince McMahon’s favor. On one hand, McMahon retains most “of the shareholders’ voting power.” On the other hand, the Board is stacked with those close to McMahon, including his daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Paul Levesque, aka the former professional wrestler Triple H. It is Stephanie McMahon who has stepped in as interim WWE CEO and Board Chairperson.

Starting as an in-ring announcer, eventually becoming a ring-side commentator and ultimately taking control of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation from his father, Vince McMahon became a powerful force and personality in the professional wrestling world. He’s surfed the highs and lows of wrestling popularity, and ultimately was one of the reasons the WWF ultimately got the better of Ted Turner’s rival WCW by the dawn of the new millennium. As CNN notes, he was also integral in the careers of many wrestlers who have since become big names both in and out of the ring such as John Cena, Dwayne Johnson, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

The allegations against Vince McMahon come at a time when he isn’t the only famous CEO facing such charges. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was recently hit with his own sex scandal, though in his case he hasn’t been forced to step down from anything; not even from posting on Twitter.