The wrestling and business worlds are still processing yesterday’s surprise announcement that Stephanie McMahon is taking a leave of absence from her job as WWE Chief Brand Officer.
She and her father, Chairman & CEO Vince, are the only McMahons currently working at what has traditionally been a family-run company. More than that, with her dad getting older and President Nick Khan only doing occasional press, Stephanie has largely been the public face of WWE for the past few years. The company’s pushed her as a trailblazing female executive, and there’s no denying the inroads Stephanie’s made in getting WWE accepted by mainstream partners & sponsors during her tenure as CBO.
We still have more questions than answers about a move that few knew was coming, but here’s some of what’s being said since McMahon’s tweet on May 19:
- In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer writes the move is “100 percent her choice” and McMahon “was not forced or pressured” to make it.
- While McMahon’s statement that she wants to spend more time with her family is “definitely part of” her decision, anyone worried Stephanie’s surprise announcement is related to her husband’s health can rest easy: Meltzer says Paul “Triple H” Levesque is back on the job full-time at WWE.
- Both Dave and PWInsider’s Mike Johnson speculate the stress of Levesque’s situation last year and the additional responsibilities she took on while he was ill factor into the decision.
- There’s no timetable for when, but the Observer’s sources told them McMahon “is returning.”
- Nick Khan will assume most of Stephanie’s duties in her absence, according to Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston.
- Stephanie McMahon also has a seat on WWE’s Board of Directors, and owns 2.5% of the company (currently valued at approximately $116 million).
We wish Stephanie & her family the best, and will keep you updated on this story as it pertains to WWE.