Thanks to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a potentially explosive story emerges concerning the corporate side of WWE: The newspaper has indeed revealed that the company’s board of directors has opened an independent investigation into compensation of approximately $3 million that the chairman and CEO Vince McMahon paid to a former employee who appeared to have had a sentimental relationship.
According to WSJ sources, that agreement would have actually been reached in January of this year and would include a non-disclosure agreement from the former employee who worked in WWE’s legal department regarding his relationships with Vince: the Board has suffered that the relationship between McMahon and the employee was amicable on both sides and that the agreement was the subject of an investigation as of April 2022, an investigation that appears to have unearthed other “hidden” agreements as well.
The investigations have indeed uncovered multiple non-disclosure agreements entered into by various former WWE employees that would expose misconduct not only by the chairman but also by head of talent relations John Laurinaitis; To date, the number of agreements involved, as well as their economic value, is unknown, but Wall Street Journal sources speak of counterparts in the millions.
The investigation also found that Vince McMahon had paid the compensation out of his personal funds, not only to the former legal staffer, but also to settle similar situations involving Laurinaitis: historical WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt questioned him on the issue for clarification that the company has not made any direct cash outlays as, as previously noted, these are private funds of the McMahon family.
The investigation, launched by the board of directors, which includes Stephanie McMahon, who recently stepped down from her role as chief brand officer, will focus on both arrangements with former employees and human resources management within the company, which appears to be a potentially explosive one situation for WWE’s corporate structure.
Pending further elements, it is clear that the issue is of paramount importance and could have a significant impact on the company’s management structure, as well as opening the door (or acceleration) for further radical changes.
We’ll be very clear on the matter by giving you all the updates as they come.