A little less than three weeks ago, Stephanie McMahon announced she was taking a leave of absence from her duties as WWE’s Chief Brand Officer, a move that seemingly came out of nowhere; or did it? As it turns out, there may be a lot more to the story than McMahon taking time to be with her family following a health scare involving her husband, Triple H, last year.
A new report from Business Insider claims that Stephanie McMahon’s leave of absence was orchestrated, partially, by her father, WWE CEO and chairman Vince McMahon, as part of a behind-the-scenes shakeup at WWE. The report points to an interview Vince gave on The Pat McAfee Show back in March as the first sign that Stephanie McMahon’s position in WWE was on thin ice.
“I’ve probably expected more from my family members than of other employees,” Vince told McAfee. “You have to do the right thing for the business. If this person isn’t working out, they shouldn’t be part of the company.”
This statement was echoed by a source within WWE who spoke to Business Insider, while also confirming a recent report that those in WWE were questioning Stephanie’s performance at an executive level.
“Family or not family, we’ve got to get the right people in place,” the source said.
As for the reasons Vince McMahon and WWE felt the need to move on from Stephanie, the report states that the company felt they were underperforming in ad revenue. WWE expected to make at least over $100 million in ad sales/brand partnerships annually, hoping to match what the UFC brings in in that department.
“We weren’t seeing that growth,” the source stated. “When someone is moved out of a company, it’s usually the result of something not working. We took stronger control of that a few months ago.”
While no statement in the article confirms that Stephanie McMahon will not return to WWE at some point in the future, as she claimed she would in her statement, it implies that she may very well be done with the promotion for the foreseeable future. Since her departure, WWE has begun hiring new executives, including Jeff Jarrett as Senior Vice President of Live Events and Catherine Newman as EVP and Head of Marketing.
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