World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE) on Monday disclosed in a recent SEC filing previously unrecorded expenses amounting to US$14.6 million paid by Vince McMahon, who retired from his long-time post as CEO and Chairman on Friday.
McMahon, who “voluntarily stepped back” from his executive duties in June, is currently being investigated in an independent review supervised by the company’s board for claims of sexual misconduct. The Form 8-K filing also indicated that the company is being investigated by other parties.
“The Company has also received, and may receive in the future, regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands arising from, related to, or in connection with these matters,” WWE said in the SEC filing.
News of the internal investigation started in June when the Wall Street Journal reported that WWE’s board had launched a probe into a secret settlement worth US$3 million that McMahon allegedly paid a former employee to keep their affair under wraps.
When the investigation started, McMahon pledged “complete cooperation” and said in a statement that he has also “pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are.”
And then a new report came out early in July alleging that McMahon, over the past 16 years, paid a total of over US$12 million to four women, all of them connected to WWE, “to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.”
According to the SEC filing, the company anticipates revising its financial statements for 2019, 2020, 2021, and the first quarter of 2022 to reflect the unrecorded expenses when it reports its second-quarter earnings. WWE also expects “to conclude that its internal control over financial reporting was not effective as a result of one or more material weaknesses.”
The unrecorded expenses, as per the company, “were or will be paid by Vince McMahon personally.”
WWE has also announced that succeeding McMahon as CEO are co-CEOs Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan. Stephanie McMahon, who is McMahon’s daughter, has also been appointed at chairman of the board. Her husband, Paul Levesque, aka “Triple-H,” will assume control of WWE’s creative responsibilities, on top of his regular duties.
WWE last traded at US$71.98 on the NYSE, up by 44.48% year-to-date.
Information for this briefing was found via the SEC, the Wall Street Journal, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.