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Vince McMahon steps back as WWE CEO amid investigation

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Vince McMahon has "voluntarily stepped back" as chairman and CEO of WWE amid an "investigation into alleged misconduct".

The 76-year-old sports entertainment company boss and John Laurinaitis - head of talent relations who was known as Johnny Ace when he wrestled - are reportedly under investigation following claims in the Wall Street Journal about multi-million dollar hush money payments given to women who allegedly had sexual relationships with Vince.

Vince's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will serve as interim CEO and chairwoman but her father will still be working.

The company said in a statement: "McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE's creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway."

Vince - who is married to the company's former CEO, Linda McMahon - has promised to co-operate fully with the special committee that has been appointed to handle the investigation.

He said: "I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are."

Stephanie added: "I love this company and am committed to working with the independent directors to strengthen our culture and our company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace.

"I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the special committee complete its work, including marshalling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings."

A third-party organisation will work with the committee and their legal representatives to explore the culture within the WWE.

They added in the statement: "WWE and its board of directors take all allegations of misconduct very seriously. The independent directors of the board engaged independent legal counsel to assist them with an independent review.

"In addition, the special committee and WWE will work with an independent third-party to conduct a comprehensive review of the company's compliance program, HR function and overall culture."

The company also said they "do not expect to have further comment until the investigation is concluded."

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