In a shocking turn of events, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon announced yesterday that she is stepping away from WWE for the foreseeable future. McMahon released a statement on Twitter announcing the move, while also signaling she would eventually return to her post.
“As of tomorrow, I am taking a leave of absence from the majority of my responsibilities at WWE,” McMahon tweeted. “WWE is a lifelong legacy for me and I look forward to returning to the company that I love after taking this time to focus on my family.”
McMahon gave no reason for her leave of absence at this time, nor did she provide a timetable for her eventual return. It is unknown at this time who will fill McMahon’s role as CBO during her absence.
Stephanie McMahon began her business career in WWE as an Accountant Executive before becoming WWE’s head writer in 2000; she would eventually be promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Creative Writing in 2006 and then later Executive Vice President of Creative in 2007. She would continue in that role until being promoted to Chief Brand Officer in 2013, which she held until this week.
McMahon’s husband, WWE legend and Executive Vice President for Global Talent Strategy & Development Triple H was forced to retire from wrestling and cut down his workload after he suffered a serious cardiac event last year. Whether Triple H’s health issues played a part in McMahon’s decision today is unclear. The couple has three daughters together, one of whom has already begun training for wrestling.
Dave Meltzer reports that Stephanie’s leave of absence was absolutely her choice and the decision to step away from WWE for a while had been made some time ago. This is not something Stephanie decided to do yesterday nor does it sound like she was forced or pressured to relieve her duties.
Although Stephanie was contemplating taking a break for some time, it was also noted that virtually no one within WWE knew about Stephanie’s impending exit except for a few who remained tight-lipped until Stephanie released the info on Twitter. This echos reports from yesterday about who within WWE knew this was coming.
In Stephanie’s tweet, she mentioned that she was taking time away to focus on her family. Although that is a big part of the reason for her departure, it was also stated that there is likely more to it and the few people who knew weren’t saying much except that some of the basic reasons being given are not accurate.
As far as what Stephanie’s decision means for the future of WWE, at this point, there’s only speculation.
The newsletter also confirmed what Wrestlenomics reported last night, that WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan will be taking over most of Stephanie’s duties with immediate effect. Furthermore, all those who previously reported to Stephanie will now be reporting to Khan.
Stephanie McMahon has been the public face of WWE for nearly two decades. Besides being the CBO, she is a member of the WWE’s Board of Directors and aside from Vince McMahon, she remains the only original McMahon family member actively working for the company. Stephanie also owns 2.5 percent of the WWE stock which is valued around $116 million.
Source: Wrestling Inc.