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Vince McMahon retires as WWE boss amid misconduct probe

Vince McMahon kneels on his star during a ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in March 2008. McMahon announced Friday he would be retiring as the head of World Wrestling Entertainment amid a probe into the longtime professional wrestling boss for “alleged misconduct.” File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Vince McMahon kneels on his star during a ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in March 2008. McMahon announced Friday he would be retiring as the head of World Wrestling Entertainment amid a probe into the longtime professional wrestling boss for “alleged misconduct.” File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 22 (UPI) -- Vince McMahon announced Friday he would be retiring as the head of World Wrestling Entertainment amid a probe into the longtime professional wrestling boss for "alleged misconduct."

"As I approach 77 years old, I feel it's time for me to retire as chairman and CEO of WWE. Throughout the years, it's been a privilege to help WWE bring you joy, inspire you, thrill you, surprise you, and always entertain you," McMahon said in a statement Friday.

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In his statement, McMahon thanked his employees, wrestling fans and his family for "mightily contributing" to the organization's success and for "dedication and passion" for the brand.

"I hold the deepest appreciation and admiration for our generations of fans all over the world who have liked, currently like, and sometimes even love our form of sports entertainment," McMahon said.

"Our global audience can take comfort in knowing WWE will continue to entertain you with the same fervor, dedication and passion as always."

McMahon said his daughter Stephanie McMahon will serve as the company's chairwoman and serve as co-CEO with WWE President Nick Khan.

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"As the majority shareholder, I will continue to support WWE in any way I can," said McMahon, who owns about 32% of the company's stock.

"My personal thanks to our community and business partners, shareholders and board of directors for their guidance and support through the years."

McMahon took control of the WWE from his father, Vince McMahon Sr., in 1982 and turned it into the multi-billion-dollar wrestling behemoth behind performers such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, John Cena and Dave Bautista who have gone on to Hollywood stardom.

The WWE announced in June that McMahon had "voluntarily stepped back" as a special committee of the board of directors investigates him and Jon Laurinaitis, head of talent relations, after The Wall Street Journal revealed previously undisclosed settlement agreements with former employees.

The settlements included $3 million paid to a former female employee with whom McMahon had an alleged affair.

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