Since returning to reportedly oversee the sale of World Wrestling Entertainment, former Chairman Vince McMahon has re-entered employment agreements with the company on a two-year contract as Executive Chairman, effective as of March 29th, 2023. According to a filing by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Below is the transcript in question, which includes information relating to McMahon’s rehiring:
Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.
On March 28, 2023, in connection with Nick Khan’s transition to being the sole Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the departure of Stephanie McMahon, and the appointment of Vincent McMahon as the Company’s Executive Chairman, the Compensation & Human Capital Committee (the “Committee”) of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) approved an amendment to Mr. Khan’s employment agreement with the Company and a new employment agreement with Mr. McMahon following a review of market data with the input of its independent compensation consultant and legal counsel.
Mr. Khan entered into an employment agreement amendment with the Company, effective as of March 29, 2023 (the “Khan Amendment”), pursuant to which, retroactive to January 10, 2023 (the date Mr. Khan was appointed the sole Chief Executive Officer of the Company), Mr. Khan’s (i) annual base salary increased from $1.35 million to $1.5 million; (ii) annual target bonus opportunity (as a percentage of annual base salary) increased from 160% to 175%; and (iii) annual equity grant date target value increased from $3.575 million to $5.375 million, subject to performance metrics and vesting periods (as determined by the Committee). These changes are being made in connection with certain changes to narrow the definition of “change of control” and “good reason” in Mr. Khan’s employment agreement.
Mr. McMahon entered into an employment agreement with the Company, effective as of March 29, 2023 (the “McMahon Employment Agreement”), pursuant to which, retroactive to January 9, 2023 (the date Mr. McMahon was appointed Executive Chairman of the Company), he will continue to serve as Executive Chairman for a term of two years from his start date of January 9, 2023, subject to automatic extension for additional one-year terms thereafter unless either the Company or Mr. McMahon provides at least 180 days’ notice of non-renewal. The McMahon Employment Agreement provides that Mr. McMahon will receive (i) an annual base salary of $1.2 million, (ii) an annual target bonus opportunity (as a percentage of annual base salary) of 175% and (iii) an annual equity grant date target value set at $4.3 million, subject to performance metrics and vesting periods (as determined by the Committee). In the event the Company terminates his employment without “cause” (as defined in McMahon Employment Agreement) or he terminates his employment for “good reason” (as defined in the McMahon Employment Agreement), Mr. McMahon will be eligible to receive as severance (a) base salary continuation through the end of the term (or, if longer, for one year), (b) a prorated portion of the annual bonus based on target performance for the year in which the termination occurs and (c) health and welfare continuation through the end of the term in accordance with the Company’s severance policy. In the event such a termination occurs within the two-year period following a “change in control” (as defined in the McMahon Employment Agreement), Mr. McMahon will instead be eligible to receive (1) a lump sum cash payment equal to two times Mr. McMahon’s then-current base salary, (2) a lump sum cash payment equal to two times Mr. McMahon’s annual bonus based on target performance, (3) a prorated portion of the annual bonus based on target performance for the year in which the termination occurs, (4) full accelerated vesting of Mr. McMahon’s unvested equity awards (with the payout of performance-based awards determined based on target-level achievement) and (5) health and welfare continuation for the twenty-four month period following the termination.
As disclosed in our annual proxy statements, the annual target bonus opportunity is a target opportunity only and the actual bonus paid may be above or below such amount based on, among other factors, the Company’s performance taking into account performance metrics established by the Committee. For annual equity grants, the Company’s current practice is to value grants at an average of the closing price of the Company’s Class A Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange over the thirty trading days immediately preceding the grant date; however, the 2023 grants for Messrs. Khan and McMahon are instead valued over the thirty trading days immediately preceding February 7, 2023 (the date on which 2023 annual equity awards were granted to our other named executive officers).
The foregoing descriptions of the Khan Amendment and the McMahon Employment Agreement are qualified in its entirety by reference to the complete text of the Khan Amendment and the McMahon Employment Agreement, as applicable, copies of which are attached as Exhibits 10.1 and 10.2 to this Current Report on Form 8-K and incorporated herein by reference. Further information about the Company’s executive compensation plans and programs, including the incentive plan, is included in the Company’s proxy statements.SEC filing.
Vince McMahon officially stepped down from his position as Chairman on July 22nd, 2022 after being under investigation for reports of sexual misconduct and paying hush money to victims, totalling upwards of USD$20 Million to numerous individuals as “hidden expenses”.
McMahon remains the majority shareholder of the publicly traded company and thus has overwhelming power over the Board of Directors. Returning in January of 2023 to allegedly oversee renegotiations of television rights, as well as the sale of the company.