World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced that co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have departed the company, effective immediately, and will no longer serve on the organization’s board of directors.
WWE is now looking for a permanent chief financial officer and chief revenue officer. Long-time board member Frank Riddick has been named interim CFO. In pushing the pair out, WWE chairman Vince McMahon pointed to a divergence in the vision for the company’s future between he and the co-presidents.
“I would like to thank George and Michelle for their 10+ years of service and contributions to the organization,” McMahon said following the close of the January 30 US stock market. “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.
“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 said.
Both Barrios and Wilson played key roles in helping WWE become an industry leader in several areas around the property’s digital and social media efforts, including the development of the now six-year-old WWE Network, one of the US sports industry’s first dedicated over-the-top video services.
The pair had been promoted to co-presidents in early 2018, and each had been with the company for more than a decade.
WWE’s stock price fell sharply following news of Barrios and Wilson’s departures, falling by more than 20 percent in after-hours trading.
The management shake-up also comes little more than a week before McMahon is formally reviving spring football’s XFL, which he has pledged to personally back to the tune of $500m.