This story was updated at 9:15 AM.
In the latest development in one of wrestling's biggest stories, Vince McMahon has voluntarily stepped down as WWE Chairman and CEO while the company's Special Committee of the Board investigates alleged misconduct.
Stephanie McMahon was named interim CEO and Chairwoman until the investigation concludes.
However, Vince McMahon "will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway."
Stephanie McMahon tweeted the following this morning:
Wrestlenomics' Brandon Thurston reported that in an email to WWE staff, Stephanie McMahon said, "I will be returning from my leave of absence and assuming the role of interim Chairwoman and CEO. I love our company and am excited to continue to work with our President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan and our Chief Financial & Administrative Officer Frank Riddick. And of course, I look forward to working with all of you. My door is always open."
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Board was investigating Vince McMahon over a $3 million "hush pact" with a former employee with which he allegedly had a relationship with, in addition to other potential non-disclosure agreements.
"WWE and the Board of Directors today announced that a Special Committee of the Board is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by its Chairman and CEO Vincent McMahon and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations, and that, effective immediately, McMahon has voluntarily stepped back from his responsibilities as CEO and Chairman of the Board until the conclusion of the investigation. McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.
The Special Committee has appointed Stephanie McMahon to serve as interim CEO and interim Chairwoman.
“I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,” said Mr. McMahon.
“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace. I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings,” said Ms. McMahon.
WWE and its Board of Directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously. The Independent Directors of the Board engaged independent legal counsel to assist them with an independent review. In addition, the Special Committee and WWE will work with an independent third-party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company’s compliance program, HR function and overall culture.
The Company and the Board do not expect to have further comment until the investigation is concluded."