Vince McMahon steps down as WWE CEO while the company investigates alleged misconduct

Vince McMahon steps down as WWE CEO while the company investigates alleged misconduct

World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is stepping aside away from the business side of the wrestling company

while an investigation is conducted into an alleged hush-money payment to cover up sexual misconduct, the WWE and its board of directors announced Friday.

McMahon has run the company for 40 years after taking over for his father in 1982,

when it was known as the World Wrestling Federation. He'll still maintain control of the WWE's creative output during the investigation,

and the company announced he'd appear on Friday night's episode of SmackDown.

"I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee

and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation

whatever they are," McMahon said in the company's statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the board was investigating a $3 million payout made to a woman to cover up an alleged

consensual affair between a WWE paralegal and McMahon,

who has faced accusations of sexual misconduct in the past.