WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon has paid his company $17.4 million, reimbursing it for costs associated with the WWE board’s investigation into alleged hush money payments made by McMahon while he was CEO.
According to a securities filing Friday afternoon, McMahon made the payment on Thursday, March 23. McMahon also agreed to reimburse the company for any additional costs tied to the investigation subsequent to Jan. 31.
“The Agreement also includes a release of Mr. McMahon by the Company regarding the recovery of the costs described above and a release of the Company by Mr. McMahon regarding the investigation and related matters described above,” the filing adds.
The payments by McMahon close the door (for now) on the board investigation, which examined claims of misconduct by McMahon, as well as payments made to former employees. McMahon initially stepped back from certain executive duties last June as the investigation got underway, and retired the following month.
Early this year however, he used his power as the WWE’s controlling shareholder to appoint himself and two former WWE executives to the company’s board, and to force a review of strategic alternatives for the company. The board would go on to name him executive chairman.
His daughter Stephanie McMahon, who had been co-CEO of the WWE alongside Nick Khan, stepped down after he re-joined the company. The company has subsequently hired advisors to examine a possible sale.
The board’s investigation may be over, but the repercussions are still to be determined. In December, when McMahon initially told the board that he wanted to come back to the company, the board responded by suggesting that he stay retired.
According to copies of the letters reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, the board wrote that his return to the company “while government investigations into your conduct by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC are still pending would not be prudent from a shareholder value perspective.”
“This determination is based on a variety of factors, including non-public information the Board has become aware of and the risks to the Company and its shareholders of placing a greater spotlight on these issues,” the letter adds.
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