After spending the last four decades as both the most consistent public face of WWE wrestling, and one of its primary behind-the-scenes architects, Vince McMahon has announced that he’s fully retiring from the company this week. Per Variety, news of the retirement comes not long after McMahon vacated his position as chairman of the company, amid investigations into wide-ranging allegations that he paid millions of dollars to women in order to hide alleged sexual misconduct. He’d previously stayed on in a creative role at WWE, but is now departing in full.
The allegations against McMahon (and also into John Laurinaitis, former wrestler and head of talent relations) are currently being investigated by the WWE board. They apparently amount to something on the order of $12 million handed out to women over many years, tied to NDAs that are reportedly connected to sexual relationships with employees, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct. These allegations appear to be separate from one levied against McMahon in 1996 by former WWE referee Rita Chatterton, who said that McMahon sexually assaulted her in 1986.
None of which, of course, showed up in McMahon’s retirement statement, which put its full focus on his advancing age as the reason for his departure. “As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE,” McMahon said in the statement, before expressing his confidence in new co-CEOs Stephanie McMahon (his daughter) and WWE president Nick Khan.
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.
McMahon also noted that he’ll remain WWE’s biggest shareholder; the company went public back in 1999, with a current market cap of $4.92 billion.