Vince McMahon Resigns From WWE & TKO

Vince McMahon gone from WWE

Vince McMahon has officially resigned as Executive Chairman of TKO Group Holdings and from the TKO Board of Directors, wholly ending his day-to-day involvement with WWE in the process. McMahon is still a major shareholder in TKO, owning approximately 12 percent of the organisation. 

McMahon announced on Friday night: "I stand by my prior statement that Ms. Grant's lawsuit is replete with lies, obscene made-up instances that never occurred, and is a vindictive distortion of the truth. I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name. However, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and constituents, and all of the employees and Superstars who helped make WWE into the global leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board of directors, effective immediately."

WWE President Nick Khan sent the following email to employees: "I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has tendered his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors. He will no longer have a role with TKO Group Holdings or WWE."

McMahon's resignation from TKO comes after he was accused of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and emotional and physical abuse in a lawsuit filed by former WWE employee Janel Grant. WWE and John Laurinaitis were also named as defendants in the lawsuit, with WWE being accused of attempting to sweep allegations against McMahon "under the rug." 

The lawsuit filed by Grant included numerous accounts of alleged abuse from McMahon, including an alleged incident where he defecated on her and another where he harmed her with sex toys named after WWE Superstars. 

Deadline noted McMahon's resignation was confirmed following "a long day of discussions and deliberations among top players at TKO and WWE as the blast radius of Grant's legal action became apparent and the corporate situation increasingly untenable for McMahon." WWE began to lose sponsorships in the fallout from the lawsuit, with Slim Jim announcing they were pausing their involvement with WWE.

"Slim Jim values integrity and respect in all of our partnerships. Given the recent disturbing allegations against Vince McMahon, at this time we've decided to pause our promotional activities with WWE. This decision reflects our commitment to our brand values and responsibility to our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and base our future engagements on our values and what’s best for our brand," Slim Jim wrote in a statement. 

According to Fightful Select, another major sponsor was considering working with WWE but they were no longer interested after details of the lawsuit emerged. 

McMahon has been mired in legal issues in recent years. He was forced to step away from WWE in the Summer of 2022 amid a sexual misconduct and hush money scandal after it emerged McMahon paid at least $14.6 million to several women between 2006 and 2022 to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity. McMahon also allegedly paid a further $5 million to the Donald Trump Foundation in relation to the 45th President of the United States' appearances on WWE TV in 2007 and 2009. 

McMahon also settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with former WWF Rita Chatterton in late 2022 over a rape accusation from an incident in 1986.

McMahon resigned from WWE after the United States Government opened investigations into the payments. McMahon later forced his way back into WWE despite the ongoing investigations, restructuring the company's board to facilitate his return as Executive Chairman in January 2023. 

This led to a "strategic review" to sell WWE. The WWE-UFC merger under TKO Group Holdings was then completed in September 2023. 

Unlike in 2023, McMahon cannot force his way back into WWE or TKO as he no longer holds the majority of voting power within the organisation. 

With McMahon's resignation, this is the first time no member of the McMahon family (by birth) is working for WWE dating back to the founding of Capitol Wrestling in the 1950s. Stephanie McMahon's husband Paul 'Triple H' Levesque remains with the company as WWE Chief Content Officer.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons