Skip to content

Every Major Change In WWE Corporate Since 2020

The wrestling world was recently shaken to its core when WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon announced his sudden retirement from the company, which saw Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan replace him as the Co-CEOs with the former also becoming the Chairwoman of the board, along with her husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque becoming the new head of creative.

RELATED: 10 Ways WWE Will Change After Vince McMahon’s Retirement

While the replacements have affected how WWE is going to be operated forever, these are not the first changes on the corporate side of the Titan Towers, with there being significant movements in the higher positions in the last few years. With that said, let’s take a look at what have been some of the biggest power shifts in the Stamford Headquarters since 2020, which eventually led to the retirement of Vince McMahon.

9 Exits of George Barrios & Michelle Wilson

George Barrios and Michelle Wilson had been a part of WWE for over a decade before their exit in 2020. Barrios had served the company as its Chief Financial Officer, while Wilson was in the position of Chief Revenue Officer till 2018 before they were both promoted to the position of Co-Presidents following the company’s groundbreaking $2 Billion deal with Fox.

However, in January 2020, the company issued an official statement announcing their departure due to different strategic views from the Board of Directors. As per the reports at the time, their major disagreement came due to the heavy contracts Vince was offering to mid-card talent in 2019 as a way to keep them away from signing with the newly launched All Elite Wrestling by Tony Khan. This announcement was made just a week before WWE’s quarterly earnings report for the end of 2019, with Vince personally issuing a statement thanking them as well.

8 The Arrival Of Nick Khan

Following the departure of Barrios and Wilson, in August 2020, WWE released an official statement announcing the arrival of Nick Khan as the President and Chief Revenue Officer of the company. Prior to joining Vince McMahon, Khan had previously served as the Co-Head of the Television Department at CAA. Even before joining the company full-time, Khan had a major role in negotiating WWE’s enormous deal with Fox.

RELATED: 7 Things Fans Should Know About WWE’s Nick Khan

After his arrival, Khan pushed the company towards more of a conservative approach financially, which resulted in mass talent firings and trimming of behind-the-scene staff. Khan also grew his power from him by taking more and more departments under his supervision from him and quickly became one of the most influential persons in the company when he negotiated WWE Network’s move to Peacock.


7 Demotion Of Paul Levesque (And His Return)

Paul Levesque, commonly known as Triple H to wrestling fans, had served WWE as an Executive Vice-president of Talent, Live Events, and Creative, which saw him overseeing the creative direction for the shows and being the best source of input in the developmental brand, NXT.

However, following NXT’s rating loss to AEW Dynamite in the ‘Wednesday Night Wars’, Paul was given the role of Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy & Development, which as per Dave Meltzer was seen as a silent demotion by many internally. This also led to WWE canceling all of Paul’s plans for NXT Mexico and NXT Japan, which had already been on hold due to the pandemic.

RELATED: 10 Changes We Can Expect With Triple H As Head Of The WWE Creative

Levesque then took time off due to a cardiac condition, but returned in July 2022 as EVP of Talent Relations and Head of Creative, following the departure of his father-in-law Vince McMahon.

6 Firing Of Key Personnel

In March 2021, along with mass talent releases, WWE also trimmed the number of backstage staff that the company had employed in an attempt to reduce redundancies. This resulted in some higher-ups also losing their jobs, such as Brian Pellegatto, WWE’s Senior Vice President of Production who had served the company for over nine years.

Moreover, high WWE officials such as James Wortman, who oversaw the content direction, were also let go around the same time. Along with him, Adam Kirshner, who was the Manager of Media & Metadata Operations, also lost his position in the company.

5 Merging Of Departments

Speaking of the backstage higher-ups losing their jobs, this was another strategy by Nick Khan to reduce expenses, as the company started merging multiple smaller departments into a few larger ones. An example of this was WWE merging the TV and Digital Media teams into one consolidated unit.

Moreover, a lot of these merged departments were then assigned to be under the supervision of Nick Khan, which grew his increasing influence in the company. For example, PWInsider reported in March 2021 that WWE released multiple staff from its international offices and that President Nick Khan will supervise the international divisions going forward in order to ensure consistency with WWE’s domestic offices.

4 Firing Of Kristina Salen (CFO)

In November 2021, WWE announced that Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen, someone who played a major part in explaining the mass releases on WWE’s earning calls, had been let go from the company and will be replaced by Frank A. Riddick III.

Frank had previously worked with Vince’s company as an interim CFO in 2020 after the departures of former WWE Co-Presidents Michelle Wilson and George Barrios. He has also been a member of the company’s board of directors for over 13 years.

3 Departure Of Stephanie McMahon (And Her Return)

On May 19, 2022, Stephanie McMahon announced via Twitter that she was taking a leave of absence from WWE indefinitely, abandoning her position as Chief Brand Officer which she had for over nine years. This news was followed by multiple conflicting reports, with many stating her under-achieving her in her role as the reason for her departure from her.

RELATED: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Pictures Of Stephanie McMahon You Have To See

However, following the launch of the investigation of Vince McMahon’s ‘Hush Money’ Scandal by the WWE Board of Directors, her father stepped down from his position, naming Stephanie as the interim CEO and Chairwoman of the company. She then soon went on to get permanently appointed to the aforementioned posts after Vince’s official retirement.

two Return & Departure Of John Laurinaitis

John Laurinaitis served WWE as the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations from 2004 till 2009 and then performed various roles as a company official till his departure in 2012. In March 2021, he returned to his position of Vice President of Talent Relations.

However, after being named in Vince McMahon’s hush money investigation scandal, John was removed from his position and temporarily replaced by Bruce Prichard in June 2021, before being fully replaced by Paul Levesque.

1 Vince McMahon’s Retirement

The road to the biggest change in WWE began in April 2022 when the Wall Street Journal reported that the WWE CEO, Chairman, and Head of Creative was under investigation by the company’s board of directors due to him allegedly paying an ex-employ “Hush Money” “After having an affair with her. This resulted in Vince temporarily stepping down from his roles as CEO and Chairman.

The controversy did not stop there, however, with more reports surfacing in the weeks following about similar behavior of Vince. This ultimately led to Vince McMahon officially announcing his departure from the company, and handing over his duties to the trio of Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan, and Paul Levesque. Though he still remains the majority shareholder of the WWE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.