World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. WWE has come a long way since it completed its initial public offering and became a publicly traded company on October 19, 1999.
WWE CEO Vince McMahon recently appeared on the Pat McAfee Show to promote WWE WrestleMania 38, which takes place April 2-3 in Arlington, Texas. During the interview, McMahon discussed some of the ways the publicity changed his mindset and priorities in running the company. One area he said has always been particularly difficult is decisions about who should be released, who should be kept, and who should be promoted from the talent roster.
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“Once I floated the company, it helped me become a better businessman because before that, I ran the company with my head and most importantly, with my heart,” said McMahon.
“These decisions are so damn hard when you do that because you know who it is, you know he has kids or this, that and the other or someone has cancer in the family, and it all calculates in your head. But once you’ if you’re a publicly traded company, you now owe shareholders.”
Being a better businessman: McMahon said his responsibility to investors overrides his personal feelings about the talent.
“It helps me make easier and better business decisions because my heart – still has some of it in it. I know it sounds awful, but it is!” he joked.
McMahon said he’s always seen WWE as a business, and whether or not he likes the artists on a personal level doesn’t matter. McMahon said that talent released by WWE or not given the opportunity to rise above a certain level within the company often chooses to blame the boss rather than wonder why their careers are not headed in the direction they had hoped.
“Everyone has a million excuses for why things didn’t work, and generally the heat has to go somewhere, the old blame game, and I’m the bad guy. That’s part of the job,” McMahon said.
Benzinga’s Take: McMahon is a polarizing figure within the professional wrestling community. There is no doubt that WWE is the ultimate success story in the industry, as WWE shareholders can attest. How much of that success is due to McMahon’s leadership—and how much of it has come in spite of it—will remain a point of contention among his biggest supporters and most outspoken critics.
Photo: Publicity photo via IMDb
This post ‘I’m The Bad Guy’: How WWE’s IPO Shifted Vince McMahon’s Focus From Heart To Head was original published at “https://www.benzinga.com/general/entertainment/22/04/26374745/im-the-bad-guy-how-wwes-ipo-shifted-vince-mcmahons-focus-from-heart-to-head”