The World Wrestling Entertainment impresario Vince McMahon has said he is retiring. The announcement comes amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.
In a brief statement issued by WWE, McMahon said he is retiring as the company’s chair and CEO. He remains its majority shareholder.
McMahon stepped down temporarily as CEO and chair of WWE in mid-June during an investigation into alleged misconduct. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported McMahon had agreed to pay more than $12m (£10m) over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
“At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together. #WWE #thankful,” he wrote on Twitter.
There was no mention of the investigation in statement from the company based in Stamford, Connecticut.
McMahon said his daughter, Stephanie, who was named interim CEO and chair last month, will serve as chair and share CEO duties with Nick Khan, who joined the company in 2020.
“Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervour, dedication, and passion as always,” he wrote in the statement, thanking WWE’s generations of fans all over the world.
McMahon first stepped aside from the top positions last month after the Journal reported at the time that he had agreed to pay $3m to a former paralegal who said he sexually harassed her on the job.
He was supposed to continue overseeing WWE’s creative content during the companies investigation. But then the newspaper reported that McMahon had agreed to pay the significantly larger sum of $12m.
Four women – all formerly affiliated with WWE – signed agreements with McMahon that bar them from discussing their relationships with him, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the deals and documents it reviewed.
McMahon has said he is cooperating with the company’s investigation.
McMahon has been the leader and most recognisable face at WWE for decades. When he bought what was then the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, wrestling matches took place at small venues and appeared on local cable channels.
The organisation underwent a seismic transformation under McMahon with events such as WrestleMania, a premium live production that draws millions of fervent viewers.
Revenue last year exceeded $1bn for the first time and the company has television deals with Fox and NBCUniversal. Last month, it announced a multiyear expansion of its original programming partnership with A&E.