“At 77, time for me to retire,” McMahon wrote on Twitter Friday, July 22. “Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) July 22, 2022
In a statement issued by WWE, McMahon said, “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.”
An official successor has not-yet-been determined, but after McMahon announced that he would step back from WWE’s business affairs in June, his daughter, and WWE’s chief brand officer, Stephanie McMahon, was named interim CEO and chairwoman. (At the time, it appeared that McMahon would continue to play a role in WWE’s on-screen entertainment.)
McMahon’s retirement comes as WWE’s board of directors looks into allegations of a hush-money payment to a former employee and new accusations of sexual misconduct. As The Wall Street Journal first reported, McMahon allegedly paid a secret $3 million to an unnamed female employee, a WWE paralegal, to keep their “consensual” affair private. That investigation unearthed additional older nondisclosure agreements involving misconduct allegations leveled at McMahon and Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, by a former WWE employee.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” McMahon said at the time.
WWE has been a family business for the McMahons for almost 70 years, and the board is largely comprised of McMahon family members. McMahon acquired the company in 1982 from his father, Vince McMahon Sr., and helped turn WWE into a global sporting and entertainment powerhouse, while also becoming an on-screen star himself.