(BBC) World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon, who transformed the company from a regional player to a global powerhouse, announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Following charges that he had spent millions of dollars to bury accusations of sexual misbehavior and infidelity, he resigned from his positions in the WWE last month.
Mr. McMahon continues to have a majority stake in WWE.
He has been the head of WWE for many years and frequently performs in the ring.
Mr. McMahon expressed his “deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all across the world” in a statement that omitted mentioning the accusations made against him.
“Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervour, dedication, and passion as always,” the 77-year-old said.
“My personal thanks to our community and business partners, shareholders, and Board of Directors for their guidance and support through the years. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
Stephanie will act as co-CEO and interim chair for the company.
According to a June article in The Wall Street Journal, Mr. McMahon agreed to pay $3 million (£2.5 million) to a former paralegal who claimed he harassed her sexually at work.
He reportedly agreed to a $1 million (£833,000) down payment, with the remaining sum to be paid over five years and purportedly by Mr. McMahon personally.
The WWE board announced a probe when it came to light that he had paid more than $12 million (£10 million) to four other women to cover up multiple charges of infidelity, contrary to original reports that he would retain his position as the company’s CEO and chairman. His daughter took over as interim CEO and Chairperson in his place.
In exchange for the cash, the women—all ex-WWE employees—signed contracts with Mr. McMahon prohibiting them from revealing their connections with him.
The WWE was formed by Mr. McMahon in the 1980s, and he has guided its development into a media behemoth with weekly programming broadcast in more than 180 nations and 30 languages.
Matches were held in intimate settings, and the World Wrestling Federation’s infrequent television broadcasts were restricted to regional US cable channels when he acquired it from his father in 1982.