WWE Stock Takes a Big Hit After Co-Presidents Departure Announcement

WWE announced via a press release from their corporate website on Thursday that both co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have left the company effective immediately. Between that and initial reports that the financial reports for the 2019 financial fourth quarter are less than expected, WWE's stock took a serious after-hours hit. The stock closed at $62.30 a share when the market closed at 5 p.m., but within 90 minutes it had dropped to $48.50 (down 22.15 percent and below the 52-week low of $52.69). The quarterly investors report will be released on Feb. 6.

The press release read, "WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that Co-Presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson will depart the company, effective immediately, and will no longer serve on its Board of Directors. Frank A. Riddick III, who has served as a member of WWE's Board of Directors for more than 11 years, has been named interim Chief Financial Officer, reporting to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. WWE has commenced a search for both a permanent Chief Financial Officer and Chief Revenue Officer.

"WWE remains well positioned to continue its growth and operate effectively against its strategic priorities, including content creation and distribution, digitization, and localization in key markets around the world," it continued. "The Company expects its full year 2019 Adjusted OIBDA to be approximately $180 million."

Vince McMahon commented on Barrios and Wilson's departures by saying, "I would like to thank George and Michelle for their 10+ years of service and contributions to the organization. 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.

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"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," he added.