A new report has suggested that a new federal investigation led to Vince McMahon announcing his retirement.
On July 22nd Vince McMahon announced his retirement as CEO and Chairman of WWE. In a further announcement on July 25th it was confirmed that Stephanie McMahon will take over as Chairwoman and co-CEO with Nick Khan. Meanwhile, Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H will be installed as head of creative.
The announcement came as McMahon remains under investigation regarding allegations that he paid a former employee $3 million in “hush money” after the pair had an affair. More allegations have since been made public, including claims that McMahon paid four women more than $12 million across 16 years as part of similar agreements.
Following the July 25th announcements, WWE disclosed via a SEC filing that they’ve made “a preliminary determination” regarding payments made by McMahon. The payments made between 2006 and 2022 totalling $14.6, should have been recorded as business expenses.
As a result, WWE will be reissuing financial statements for 2019, 2020, and 2021, as well as Q1 of 2022. They aim to republish these statements by Tuesday, 9 August, though “there is no assurance that it will be able to meet this deadline”.
The Wall Street Journal has now reported that Vince McMahon’s exit was “hastened” by a federal investigation into the “hush money scandal.”
The Journal notes that the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors have launched enquiries into payments made by McMahon to settle allegations of sexual misconduct.
“The media company said Monday that it has received “regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands” in connection with millions of dollars in hush-money pacts.”
The report comes after WWE stock closed at $71.81, it’s highest price since September 2019.