WWE Chairman Vince McMahon Faces Shareholder Lawsuit, Allegations That He Illegally Took Control Of The Company
According to a report from Bloomberg Law, Vince McMahon—the long-time head of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)—is being sued by a shareholder for allegedly improperly taking control over the company. Mr. McMahon resigned from his position last year after facing sexual harassment allegations. However, he returned to his leadership position at the WWE in early January. Here, our Miami shareholder litigation attorney discusses the stakes and the key issues in this legal dispute.
Background: Resignation, Unfavorable Board Vote, and Subsequent Return
Vince McMahon resigned from his position as the head of the WWE in July of 2022. The resignation came after a report that he paid more than $12 million in sexual harassment settlements over the previous 15 years. In December of 2022, Mr. McMahon sought to resume his previous position citing the results of a “strategic review” of the future of the WWE. The matter went before the board of directors. As stated in the complaint, the board unanimously voted against Mr. McMahon.
Soon after the unfavorable board vote, Mr. McMahon—as the controlling shareholder of the WWE—took action to remove three members from the Board of Directors. In their place, he appointed himself as well as two other people who previously worked closely with him at the company. The head of the WWE—his daughter Stephanie McMahon—then resigned from her position as the head of the company, putting Mr. McMahon in position to regain control.
Shareholder Lawsuit Filed in Delaware: Allegations Vince McMahon Abused Voting Control
On behalf of himself and similarly-situated shareholders, Scott A. Fellows filed a lawsuit against the WWE’s Vince McMahon in the Delaware Chancery Court on January 10th, 2023. The complaint alleges that Mr. McMahon unlawfully and improperly abused his voting control over the company when he ousted three board members and replaced them with people with “loyalists.” As stated within the shareholder complaint, Mr. McMahon purportedly controls 81 percent of the voting shares for the WWE. The WWE is a nearly seven billion dollar company. For his part, Vince McMahon has not offered any public response to the shareholder litigation.
To be clear, this is still a pending legal matter. Whether or not Vince McMahon violated any shareholder regulations or internal shareholder agreements in moving to re-take his leadership position at the WWE is an open question. It will be up to the Delaware Chancery Court to determine what happens next in this case.
that Get Help From Our Miami Shareholder Litigation Lawyer Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami shareholder litigation attorneys are committed to providing high level legal guidance and support to clients across the entire range of shareholder disputes. If you are locked in a conflict, we are here to help you determine the best course of action. Contact us today to set up your confidential, no commitment initial appointment. With offices located in Miami and West Palm Beach, we handle shareholder disputes throughout South Florida.