In a management shakeup Thursday, just a week before its fourth-quarter earnings report, the WWE said Co-Presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson are immediately departing the company and its board.
No details were provided for the ouster of the executives, each of whom had spent more than a decade at the Stamford, CT-based pro wrestling company. Initially founded by Vince McMahon, who personally promoted wrestling into a multi-billion-dollar business, the WWE has lucrative TV deals with Fox and USA Network, a film and TV production arm and a global live event operation.
Frank A. Riddick III, a WWE board member for 11 years and a management positions at several large corporations, has been named interim CFO, reporting to McMahon. The company has started a search for a permanent CFO as well as a Chief Revenue Officer.
In the announcement, the WWE said it “remains well positioned to continue its growth and operate effectively against its strategic priorities,” including global expansion.
“I would like to thank George and Michelle for their 10-plus years of service and contributions to the organization,” McMahon said. “I am grateful for all that was accomplished during their tenure, but the board and I decided a change was necessary as we have different views on how best to achieve our strategic priorities moving forward.
“We have a deep team of talented, experienced and committed executives across the organization, and the board and I have great confidence in our collective abilities to create compelling content, engage our global fanbase across platforms, increase revenues, and drive shareholder value.”
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