WWE’s Vince McMahon announced his retirement Friday amid sexual misconduct allegations and reports that he paid millions of dollars to women to silence them.
“As I approach 77 years old, I feel it’s time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it’s been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you,” McMahon said in a statement. “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.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank our fans for allowing us into your homes every week and being your choice of entertainment,” he continued. “I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of Sports Entertainment.”
McMahon stepped down as CEO and chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment in mid-June after a Wall Street Journal report said he had paid $3 million to a former employee with whom he was having an affair. The Journal later reported that McMahon has agreed to pay more than $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
Vince McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will serve as the company’s chairwoman and co-CEO alongside Nick Khan, according to WWE.
McMahon bought the Stamford, Connecticut-based company from his father in 1982. At the time, it was called the World Wrestling Federation.