WWE PROVIDES UPDATE REGARDING COMPOSITION OF ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND EXPLORATION OF STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES
STAMFORD, Conn., January 6, 2023 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) is providing the following update regarding the composition of its Board of Directors and the exploration of strategic alternatives.
“Today, we announce that the founder of WWE, Vince McMahon, will be returning to the Board,” said Chairwoman & Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon, Co-CEO Nick Khan and Chief Content Officer Paul Levesque. “We also welcome back Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to our Board of Directors. Together, we look forward to exploring all strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.”
As Vince McMahon stated yesterday, “WWE has an exceptional management team in place, and I do not intend for my return to have any impact on their roles, duties, or responsibilities.”
In connection with the change in the composition of the Board of Directors and in cooperation with Vince McMahon as majority shareholder, the Company intends to undertake a review of its strategic alternatives with the goal being to maximize value for all WWE shareholders. There is no assurance that this process will result in a transaction.
Vince McMahon, in his capacity as controlling shareholder of the Company, has removed JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey R. Speed and Alan M. Wexler from the Board. Vince McMahon, George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have been added to the Board to fill the resulting vacancies.
The Board currently consists of:
• Vince McMahon
• Stephanie McMahon
• Nick Khan
• Paul Levesque
• Steve Koonin
• Michelle McKenna
• Steve Pamon
• George Barrios
• Michelle Wilson
Ignace Lahoud and Man Jit Singh have resigned from the Board, effective today.
The quote attributed to current co-CEOs Nick Khan & Stephanie McMahon and Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque (aka, the man who seemed to be Vince’s handpicked successor, his daughter, and his son-in-law) will be heavily analyzed, more in terms of tone than actual content. Fans hoping the changes we’ve seen from WWE during the five or so months Vince was gone won’t be wiped out will hold up his quote about not impacting the current management of the company.
The most interesting thing here, at least to this writer, is the admission that Vince’s “review of strategic alternatives” may pick the status quo. It’s almost like all the shareholder value talk was just window dressing for his main goal, returning to the company he built, and that his ownership stake meant he never really lost control of — even after he resigned while being investigated for improperly recording hush money payments to sexual partners and women who claimed to be victimized by him.
As for the two Board members who are walking away, seemingly in response to Vince’s return... Lahoud is a former Disney executive who currently runs a retail & resort development company out of Dubai. He joined the WWE Board in May of 2022. He served on the Audit Committee which had been led by Jeffrey Speed until being ousted as part of Vince’s comeback. Singh is the former head of Sony’s Home Entertainment division. He was elected to the Board in 2018 with Alan Wexler, one of the other independent Directors VKM replaced to make room for himself, Barrios & Wilson.