Nick Khan Comments On Corporate Shake-Up Following Vince McMahon’s WWE Return


Nick Khan addressed the corporate shake-up in WWE due to Vince McMahon’s return last week, which resulted in Stephanie McMahon resigning as co-CEO. Khan has been named CEO, and Vince is back as the Executive Chairman of the WWE Board.

During an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Khan noted that he always thought Vince was the boss. He said,


“When you’re on the inside, you see things that may be coming. My thought was that there’s only one boss in the company, and that ain’t me. I think it was always my point of view, Stephanie’s point of view he would come back. The way he played it to me was smart in that he went away for five, six months which people, meaning the audience, seems to like when somebody does that and he came back and took control back of his company as a company shareholder. So it is the public’s company as a publicly traded company. But with that, the controlling share gave him a lot of authority, and he used it, and I applaud him for doing so.”

Khan addressed the idea that Vince’s return could hurt the company, saying:

“Well, no advertiser has fled. Ratings aren’t down. The product seems to continue to build. Why would he resign? Why would he do that? I think it’s just a three-mile radius of LA thing. ‘Hey, step down. And you know, you have to sort of be punished for it.’ It didn’t used to be that way. So I think for somebody like Vince, and [referring to Simmons] you and he are two different people, but you’re both founder CEOs and I think founder CEOs are different from regular CEOs. So to me, WWE is Vince, Vince is WWE, and we’re going to do the best we can to keep building the company.”

Khan also said he wasn’t surprised to see McMahon return. He added,

“No. No. That’s Vince. Anyone who knows him…anyone who believed that [his retirement] was permanent, doesn’t know him. That was never gonna happen, but I’m appreciative of the fact he gave it five, six months to let the dust settle a bit and then coming back in the way that he’s come back. I think the succession plan in his mind is the one he put in place when he stepped down. Which was Paul (Triple H) runs creative and then Stephanie and I co-run, or help to run the company, if you will, with Steph as Chairwoman. So, to me, I never got a sense of any sort of bitterness or anything like that. He seemed, for the first month of his hiatus, thrilled […] I think by month five, he was getting ready to return. I think the strategic alternative process is a real one, I think he’s hyped for it. I haven’t seen any sort of ‘heat’ from him towards anybody who was at WWE, with WWE, there’s no commentary from him – certainly to me, and I’ve been in touch with him (as you might imagine) a lot this past week – there’s no ‘Why did you and Paul hire this?’ or ‘Why did Steph and you do that?’ There’s been none of that.” 

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