Vince McMahon, the iconic figure behind WWE, has officially returned to the company after a six-month scandal-induced retirement. Although his re-entry was initially perceived as a Board of Directors-level move, recent events suggest he is taking on a more active role in WWE's day-to-day operations.
As the controlling shareholder, McMahon never truly let go of his influence over the business, which played a significant role in his return to the Board in January. Reports indicated that he was primarily focused on big-picture projects, such as a potential sale of the company and the upcoming round of media rights deals.
However, the wrestling community, including fans, reporters, and wrestlers alike, has been looking for signs of McMahon's increasing involvement in daily operations and the creative direction of WWE programming.
Vince McMahon: The True WWE Leader
In a recent interview with ESPN's Stephen A.
Smith and WWE CEO Nick Khan, they revealed that McMahon is indeed the one who runs WWE. Khan said, "Just one note, I don't run the WWE. There's only one person who runs the WWE, Vince McMahon. A lot of folks help me to help run the WWE." On March 31, a more official announcement was made in the form of an 8-K form filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
The document confirmed that as part of Nick Khan's appointment as the sole CEO of WWE after Stephanie McMahon stepped down following her father's return, Vince McMahon had signed a new employment agreement with the company.
This new agreement, dubbed "The McMahon Employment Agreement," went into effect on March 30 and will see Vince McMahon serve a two-year term as Executive Chairman of the Board, retroactively to January 9, 2023. In this role, he will earn a $1.2 million annual salary with the potential for a 175% target bonus and a yearly stock grant worth millions.
The agreement will be extended in one-year increments unless McMahon or WWE provides 180 days' notice of non-renewal. If his position is terminated without cause, or if he terminates it for "good reason," McMahon will be eligible for severance.