Vincent Kennedy McMahon has announced that he is officially retiring from WWE.
“At 77, time for me to retire,” McMahon wrote in a tweet on Friday. “Thank You, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together.” WWE’s corporate site has followed up with a confirmation.
The 77-year-old executive had recently stepped away from his corporate duties in the wake of a bombshell investigation into a series of hush money payments, allegedly made by the former chairman and CEO to former female employees to silence their potential accusations of harassment, misconduct, and abuse against both McMahon and former Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis has since been removed from his position, with Paul Levesque (fka Triple H) officially taking over his duties earlier today.
While his daughter Stephanie stepped in as Interim Chairwoman and CEO, McMahon had been retaining creative control of the company during the investigation. WWE is just over a week away from holding their tentpole event SummerSlam on July 30th, but McMahon, as well as WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn, was absent from last week’s “WWE Smackdown” taping.
The odyssey for McMahon started in June, when news broke that the WWE board of directors had been investigating a series of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) between McMahon and former female employees. The investigation uncovered numerous payments that totaled more than $12 million over 16 years. The reporters at the Wall Street Journal, who broke the story, recently suggested that there is more that hasn’t yet been revealed, and major media outlets are reportedly following up.
Despite the investigation, and the seriousness of the allegations, Vince McMahon continued to appear on WWE television, doing things like reciting the company’s motto in the ring and introducing John Cena for the former WWE Champion’s 20 year anniversary celebration. This past Monday on “WWE Raw,” WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil opened up the show with a speech about WWE being a “safe haven.”
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