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WWE owner Vince McMahon announces his retirement amid a sex scandal investigation

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman Vince McMahon appears in the ring in 2009 during the WWE Monday Night Raw show in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller
Getty Images
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman Vince McMahon appears in the ring in 2009 during the WWE Monday Night Raw show in Las Vegas.

Vince McMahon, chief executive officer and chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment announced his retirement on Friday at the age of 77. In a tweet posted in the late afternoon McMahon stated that "At 77, time for me to retire." He then thanked the WWE universe.

The announcement comes a month after McMahon stepped down from his duties amidallegationsthat the CEO paid up to $12 million in hush money to former employees.

"Throughout the years it's been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you," McMahon said in a corporate statement.

He went on to thank his family, the current and former superstars who have wrestled for the company, and the fans for allowing the WWE into their home every week.

"Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication, passion as always," said McMahon. "I am extremely confident in the continued success of the WWE and I leave our company in the capable hands of an extraordinary group of Superstars, employees, executives — in particular, both Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Co-CEO Nick Khan. I will continue to support WWE in any way that I can. My personal thanks to the community and business partners, shareholders, and the Board of Directors for their guidance and support through the years. Then. Now. Forever. Together."

McMahon is being investigated by WWE's board of directors over allegations that he'd paid millions of dollars to various women in exchange for their silence regarding his relationships and misconduct. While the investigation was ongoing, the longtime WWE boss stepped down from his role as chairman and CEO. The company's president Nick Khan and McMahon's daughter Stephanie McMahon will serve as the new heads of the company.

McMahon bought what was once known as the WWWF from his father, Vince McMahon Sr., in 1982. He changed the name to the WWF, which it was known as until 2002, and built a global brand that has been watched weekly in millions of homes and features lucrative pay-per-view events, such as Wrestlemania.

In the most recent fiscal year, the company reported record revenues of $1.1 billion, in part thanks to the return of large-scale public events as the coronavirus pandemic waned.

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Matt Adams
Matt Adams is an Audience Engagement Strategist at NPR, where he is always thinking of how a broadcast company can do more on the internet. His focus is on social media strategy and how to connect NPR with new audiences in creative ways, from community building to social audio.