After retiring from the WWE last year and stepping down from his duties as the CEO, Chairman and Head of Creative due to paying nearly $20 million in previously unrecorded expenses, almost $15 million of which were hush money for the sexual misconduct allegations he received from four women over the past 16 years and $5 million of which to the now-defunct foundation of former U.S. President Donald Trump, Vince McMahon forcibly made his way back to the company, returned to the Board of Directors and would ultimately be named the Executive Chairman of the Board. It was believed at the time that Vince would not be involved in the day-to-day affairs and the management structure would remain unchanged and the only reasons he would come back is to help the WWE be sold, while also helping the WWE with the talks for a new media rights deal.
WWE would end up being acquired by the Endeavor Group and would merge with the UFC to form one single company known as TKO Group Holdings. The merger would still be completed even though a search warrant was served and executed by the federal government after a federal grand jury signed off on a subpoena addressed to Vince McMahon last July 17th, although no charges have been filed against McMahon yet in connection to the hush money scandal.
An article was published by LA Times, where it was noted that Jacob Frenkel, former senior counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement as well as the Chair of Dickinson Wright’s Government Investigations & Securities Enforcement Practice Group told the publication that WWE Executive Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon could face criminal or civil liabilities that may force him out of his WWE role. It was also noted by Ignace Lahoud, a former board member in WWE, who resigned when Vince McMahon forcefully returned to the company last January, that what has transpired was not aligned with his way of seeing what governance is and there was a misalignment with what his values are and the board can do what is needed to do and he won’t stand in their way.
A source close to McMahon said that the WWE Executive Chairman viewed this investigation as an act of disloyalty despite knowing the board was doing its job.