Former CEO Vince McMahon plans to return to the WWE, but only to sell the company he turned into a global entertainment brand.
The Wall Street Journal reports that McMahon – still the majority owner of WWE – indicated Thursday that “he elects himself and two former co-presidents and directors, Michelle Wilson and George Barrios, to the board of directors.” Three of the current directors will reportedly have to step down to make way.
McMahon, age 77, retired in the summer of 2022 following allegations of sexual misconduct. He also allegedly used his own money for $19.6 million in non-disclosure agreement payments and then failed to record them as personal expenses.
This isn’t the first time McMahon has tried to return, but the board rejected his earlier attempt to take back the reins. ESPN quoted in a statement in which McMahon said that “WWE is entering a critical moment in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for high-quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms. “
“My return,” he continued, “will allow WWE, as well as all counterparties to transactions, to participate in these processes, knowing that they will have the support of the controlling shareholder.”
McMahon’s daughter Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan have served as WWE’s co-CEOs since he retired, but he may not care much for their leadership if he wants a chance to end things with the WWE on his own terms. As the WSJ noted, McMahon has said his actions when he left last year were based in part on “bad advice from people close to him … to step down.”