World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon announced Friday that he was retiring after decades of leading the company founded by his family, a move that comes a month after WWE’s board said it was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the married McMahon had paid more than $12 million to four women, all of who had been affiliated with the WWE, over the past 16 years to cover up claims of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
McMahon in June had said he was stepping back from his role as CEO and chairman while the board’s probe proceeded, installing his daughter Stephanie McMahon as interim CEO.
But he said at the time that he would retain control over creative content at the company, where he remains the majority shareholder, with about 32% of its stock.
On Friday, McMahon announced that Stephanie and WWE President Nick Khan were taking over as co-CEOs, and that his daughter would become chairman of the company.
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE,” McMahon said in a statement Friday.
“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,” he said.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment.”
WWE’s stock price did not markedly change in after-hours trading, which saw a low volume of shares changing hands.
At the close of regular trading Friday, WWE had a market capitalization of about $4.9 billion.