Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of former WWE founder Vince McMahon and now the company’s Co-CEO, began the company’s second-quarter earnings call with a tribute to her father as a “true founder and entrepreneur.”
Earlier this summer, Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan were named Co-CEOs of the company as a board-initiated investigation into Vince McMahon’s conduct began. After the probe verified claims from numerous women of sexual harassment, retaliation and payoffs, McMahon resigned in July.
McMahon and his wife, Linda “poured their heart and soul into building this business and taking WWE from a regional wrestling promotion in the 1980s to the global entertainment enterprise we are today,” Stephanie McMahon said. “He built the foundation we stand on and prepared us for the future.”
Prior to the call, WWE reported strong results for the quarter, which had to be restated due to $14.6 million in “unrecorded payments” made by Vince McMahon to several women. Stephanie McMahon noted that her father remains “very much the controlling shareholder” of the company, and will therefore have a strong say in the direction of things from here.
Net income rose to $49 million, or 58 cents a share, from $29.2 million, or 34 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew to $328.2 million from $265.6 million in the year-ago period.
Frank Riddick, the company’s chief financial and administrative officer, said $1.7 million in costs were incurred in the quarter due to the probe of the former CEO. Vince McMahon has indicated he will pay for those costs, Riddick noted, thought the company also expects to see additional financial expenses related to the investigation.
Vince McMahon took over WWE from his father in the early 1980s and turned it into a global media empire with lucrative partnerships with NBCUniversal and Fox in the U.S., and deals for streaming and other media rights in 180 countries around the world. Last year, it inked a billion-dollar agreement to have its streaming network absorbed into NBCU’s Peacock.