Along with the firing of Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano in the wake of the Mickie James trash bag scandal, we’d heard WWE was “cleaning house” - specifically in the Talent Relations and Communications department.
Three more names have come out in reporting since Carrano’s firing broke last night (April 22).
PWInsider was the first to name others released from Talent Relations - Director Nicole Zeoli, and Senior Manager John Cone*. Zeoli is no longer with WWE in any capacity, while Cone remains as talent himself in his role as a referee. That’s also the case for Dan Engler, who’s gone from the office but will still work matches as referee Rudy Charles.
* UPDATE: Insider now says Cone has been re-hired to his position in Talent Relations.
Carrano was essentially the last member of the Talent Relations team left from before John Lauriaitis was brought back to lead it earlier this year. A source told Insider that not be the end of changes for the department, as it could be “transformed into something else as a result of the sweeping internal changes [WWE President] Nick Khan is in the middle of bringing about”.
Those changes include what’s happening in Communications, where Khan hire Chris Legentil was introduced as Senior Vice President & Head of Global Communications earlier this week. Former Communications VP Mead Rust, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Brian Flinn, and Joe Villa, Manager Publicity & Corporate Communications, have all been let go this week.
Khan’s overhaul is ongoing, as Insider says the former Creative Artists Agency (CAA) exec “has been given great power and leeway by Vince McMahon to move WWE forward into the future and prepare to bring the company towards a more mainstream entertainment property.” Many of his new hires are from his old agency, and along with the hiring of several name sports announcers in recent weeks, is part of a plan to further transform WWE’s image in Hollywood to generate more revenue and open up new partnerships by positioning the brand as “something similar to Marvel and DC”.