WWE CEO McMahon steps down as board investigates alleged misconduct

Vince McMahon steps down as WWE CEO  [Twitter]

WWE said on Friday (June 17) it launched an investigation into alleged misconduct by longtime chief executive Vince McMahon and appointed his daughter Stephanie as interim head.

Mr McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and chairman until the review is over, the company said.

The board is investigating a US$3 million (S$4.2 million) settlement that Mr McMahon agreed to pay to a departing employee with whom he allegedly had an affair, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday (June 15).

WWE said on Friday the board had engaged an external legal counsel to assist with an independent review, adding it will also conduct a comprehensive review of the company's compliance programme, human resources function and overall culture.

The company, which produces and distributes weekly wrestling shows Raw and Smackdown, said Mr McMahon, 76, will retain his creative content responsibilities during this period.

The board's investigation, which began in April, has unearthed other, older nondisclosure agreements involving claims by former female WWE employees of misconduct by Mr McMahon and the head of talent relations, Mr John Laurinaitis, according to the Journal's report.

The probe by the board includes Mr Laurinaitis, the company said.

Ms Stephanie McMahon, who has been often touted as her father's successor, took a leave of absence last month to focus on her family.