World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO and President Vince McMahon has announced he is retiring amid misconduct allegations.
It comes a month after he temporarily stepped down after an investigation into alleged misconduct was opened.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that McMahon had agreed to pay more than $12m (£9.9m) over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.
He previously pledged to cooperate with the investigation but did not address the investigation in a statement released Friday.
His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, became WWE’s interim boss in June.
Announcing his retirement, he reiterated his support for the wrestling entertainment company and will remain the majority shareholder.
“As I approach 77, I feel it is time for me to retire as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Over the years, it has been a privilege to help WWE to bring you joy, inspire you, move you, surprise you and always entertain you, he says.
“I am extremely confident in the continued success of WWE, and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees and executives.
“As majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can.”
McMahon bought WWE in 1982, transforming it from a regional player in a fragmented industry into a highly lucrative global giant, which recorded around $1 billion in revenue last year.
The former wrestler has used scripted matches, famous wrestlers and glitz to attract viewers, with revenue boosted by pay-per-view events such as Wrestlemania.
One of his iconic on-screen moments was in 2007 when he started a feud with Donald Trump.
Although they originally wanted to fight the businessman-turned-president himself, the pair agreed to choose a representative to fight at WrestleMania 23, with the loser having his head shaved.
Dubbed the Battle of the Billionaires, McMahon fighter Umaga lost to Trump representative Bobby Lashley which resulted in the WWE boss having his head shaved.
Household names such as Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Dave Bautista and Triss Stratus have all used WWE to launch their entertainment careers, with many transitioning to Hollywood after retiring from wrestling. .
However, the company has also been plagued by controversy under McMahon’s leadership, including allegations of steroid use in 1994 and poor workers’ rights accusations by John Oliver in 2019.
WWE declined to comment on McMahon’s retirement and did not respond to requests for comment on the misconduct investigation.
Shares of the company are up 34% on the year as it benefits from audience feedback at its live events.
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