John Laurinaitis has officially joined Vince McMahon in the unemployment line.
In responding to a follow-up from PWInsider, several sources in the company confirmed the ousting of the disgraced executive, saying that the now-former EVP of Talent Relations was quietly let go sometime within the last week, with no date known beyond what is described as “a very small circle.”
Laurinaitis was named in a Wall Street Journal report that broke back in June, revealing an investigation by WWE’s board of directors into hush money payments made by former chairman and CEO Vince McMahon to former female employees that had alleged abuse, misconduct, and harassment at the hands of McMahon and Laurinaitis. The initial hush money payment that was brought to the board’s attention was a former WWE paralegal who, according to the WSJ report, was passed between McMahon and Laurinaitis “like a toy.” After the news broke, Laurinaitis was put on administrative leave.
WWE’s board of directors announced that the payments made by McMahon needed to be reported as company expenses, and would be amending past financial reports. The Securities & Exchange Commission, as well as federal prosecutors, are now looking into the payments. Meanwhile, McMahon has stepped down from all duties, corporate and creative, with his daughter Stephanie McMahon taking over the chairwoman position and sharing CEO duties with WWE President Nick Khan. McMahon’s creative duties, as well as Laurinaitis’s duties as EVP of Talent Relations, have been taken over by Stephanie’s husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
Laurinaitis resumed his duties in Talent Relations back in 2021, after previously holding a position from 2009-2012. Laurinaitis’s tenure in Talent Relations was a less than popular one, with him being at the helm when former WWE superstar Mickie James was sent her belongings in a trash bag after her release earlier in the year. Recently, former WWE Tag Team Champion Rene Dupree said that public knowledge of Laurinaitis’s behavior is “just the tip of the iceberg.”
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