Stephanie McMahon took part in Tuesday's quarter investors conference call and was asked during the Q&A portion about her decision to take on the role of Co-CEO mere weeks after announcing she would be taking a leave of absence from the company. Her initial announcement was made on May 19 and her statement at the time read, "As of tomorrow, I am taking a leave of absence from the majority of my responsibilities at WWE. WWE is a lifelong legacy for me and I look forward to returning to the company that I love after taking this time to focus on my family."
However, shortly after the initial Wall Street Journal report dropped about Vince McMahon's sexual misconduct allegations, Stephanie was back filling in as interim CEO and Chairwoman of the company just one month after her leave of absence announcement.
"I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace," Stephanie said in the announcement. "I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings."
When Vince fully retired in late July, she was officially named Co-CEO alongside Nick Khan. She said on Tuesday's call, "I have worked in WWE since I was about eight years old. Modeling merchandise for our then-catalog, in any variety of capacities. My parents couldn't afford a nanny when we were bringing up the business so on weekends I was sitting with our receptionist at headquarters. I've worked my entire life for this business, I love this business. I took a leave of absence realizing that I needed a little bit of time with my family, given the grueling schedule in nature. I got about three weeks, which is a lot more than a lot of other folks get. I was not forced into returning as CEO and Chairman in the interim position, I offered. That was an opportunity for me to come back and be a part of this company that I love and have the opportunity to lead this company."
"...Now that being said, I understand your remarks and I think I'm reading between the lines (laughs)," McMahon later added. "That being said, Vince McMahon, my father, is still very much the controlling shareholder. He still has his eyes on what is the best for our business in terms of maximizing return to our shareholders, of which he is the biggest shareholder. Nick (Khan), Paul (Levesque), Frank (Riddick) and I remain focused on delivering the maximum results for our shareholders. We will properly evaluate any opportunity that comes our way with that lens in mind."