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Stephanie McMahon resigned Tuesday as co-CEO of WWE.
Her resignation comes less than a week after her father, Vince McMahon, exercised his authority as the company’s controlling shareholder to fire three board members and return as Executive Chairman of the Board.
The news means Nick Khan, former CAA talent agent, will serve as the sole CEO of WWE.
The company named Stephanie and Khan co-CEOs last year after Vince McMahon retired following a board investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
Stephanie’s husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque remains head of creative.
“With Nick’s leadership and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque as chief content officer, I am confident WWE is in the perfect place to continue to provide unparalleled creative content and drive maximum value for shareholders,” she wrote.
Consider that Vince’s return likely was not part of Stephanie’s vision as CEO.
Last month, the WWE board unanimously disapproved of his return. That board included Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan, and Paul Levesque.
Vince McMahon got his way, anyway.
Thus far, Vince says he’s returning not to interfere with Khan (CEO) and Levesque (booker), whose roles he long assumed, but to steer a sale of the company before it renegotiations of its broadcast rights.
In December, Vince communicated to the board that unless he has direct involvement as executive chairman, he wouldn’t support or approve any media-rights deal or sale.
We listed several possible WWE buyers last week. The list includes current partners NBC and Fox as well as Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Google/YouTube, Apple, Endeavor Group Holdings and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
We explained the appeal of the WWE business model, which in short states:
“Professional wrestling provides a large, passionate fan base and year-round content. There’s no offseason in wrestling. The company airs seven hours of live programming a week and one premium event (formerly under the pay-per-view model) a month.
“WWE exclusive streaming package provided a substantial boost to NBC’s Peacock streaming service, a deal for which NBC pays $1 billion. Three million Peacock subscribers had watched WWE content at the time of the report.”
In honor of Stephanie McMahon, we remind you she once wrestled Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania: