Vince McMahon returns to WWE, less than 6 months after he retired amid sexual misconduct allegations

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  • Vince McMahon, WWE's former CEO, has returned to the board, the company announced Friday.

  • The company said it would "undertake a review of its strategic alternatives," exploring a potential sale.

  • McMahon retired from the company in July amid sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

WWE announced on Friday that Vince McMahon, its former longtime CEO and chairman, returned to the company's board of directors.

It comes less than six months after McMahon announced he was retiring from the company in July 2022, amid a board investigation into hush payments McMahon allegedly made to former female employees and sexual misconduct allegations against him.

McMahon remained the company's controlling shareholder even as he transitioned out of the company.

His return means JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Jeffrey Speed and Alan Wexler were removed from the board to make room for McMahon as well as George Barrios and Michelle Wilson, who also joined.

WWE also said it would "undertake a review of its strategic alternatives with the goal being to maximize value for all WWE shareholders."

In other words, it's exploring a sale.

The Wall Street Journal first reported last month that McMahon had thought the allegations against him would have blown over, and sent a letter to the board outlining his desire to return to the company.

The board responded that it would begin the review process to explore a sale and would work with him, but that his return wouldn't be in shareholders' best interests, according to WSJ. But McMahon made clear that without his direct involvement, he would not approve any rights deals or a sale, WSJ reported.

McMahon sees now as the right time to explore a sale, according to WSJ, ahead of media rights renegotiations for shows like "Raw" and "SmackDown."

WWE shares were up nearly 20% on Friday after the announcement of McMahon's return.

The board began investigating last year millions of dollars McMahon had paid several women who had made misconduct allegations against him.

One allegation that resurfaced amid the investigation is former WWE ref Rita Chatterton's 1992 claim that McMahon had raped her six years prior. Former wrestler Leonard Inzitari said in a June New York magazine story that Chatterton's accusation was true — the first time a wrestler had backed up Chatterton's claim.

McMahon had denied the allegation in a lawsuit against Chatterton after she went public, but it was eventually dropped.

Most recently, WSJ reported last month a new allegation from a former spa manager who claimed McMahon assaulted her.

McMahon has previously denied sexual harassment or abuse allegations.

Read the original article on Business Insider