Vince McMahon Announces Cutbacks And Furloughs For WWE, Full Details

Vince McMahon has already wrapped up his phone call with WWE employees.

According to Mike Johnson at PWInsider, the meeting between McMahon and employees lasted five minutes. The following announcements were made:

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* Cutbacks and leave of absences for WWE staff and the company overall.

* Cutbacks on pay for Board Members and Executives.

* The plan to move WWE Headquarters from Titan Tower to the new HQ in Stamford, CT has been delayed.

* Cutbacks on talent roster and overall employees. Some will go on a leave of absence.  Employees will reportedly receive texts about where they stand going forward.

It should be noted, that shortly after the meeting, Fightful was told that talent is expected to be released, but that wasn't broached in the call. The text messaging system is how the human resource department will inform staff of how they can proceed if you end up furloughed. 

Shortly after the meeting ended, WWE put out the following press release, detailing the decisions that will be made.

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE (NYSE: WWE) today provided an update on measures taken by the Company in response to the current impact of COVID-19 on the organization.

Due to COVID-19 and current government mandated impacts on WWE and the media business generally, the Company went through an extensive evaluation of its operations over the past several weeks. This analysis resulted in the implementation of various short-term cost reductions and cash flow improvement actions including:

Reducing executive and board member compensation;

Decreasing operating expenses;

Cutting talent expenses, third party staffing and consulting;

Deferring spend on the build out of the Company’s new headquarters for at least six months.

Given the uncertainty of the situation, the Company also identified headcount reductions and made the decision to furlough a portion of its workforce effective immediately. The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature.

The Company’s reductions of employee compensation and headcount result in an estimated monthly savings of $4 million along with cash flow improvement of $140 million primarily from the deferral in spending on the Company’s new headquarters. Additionally, the Company has substantial financial resources, both available cash and debt capacity, which currently total approximately $0.5 billion, to manage the challenges ahead. Management continues to believe the fundamentals of the Company’s business remain strong and that WWE is well positioned to take full advantage of the changing media landscape and increasing value of live sports rights over the longer term.

The Company will provide further details when it reports its first quarter 2020 results next Thursday, April 23 after the close of the market.

Fightful will provide more information as it is known.


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