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WWE Suffers Massive Layoffs After Finalizing A Merger With UFC

Home / Breaking News / WWE Suffers Massive Layoffs After Finalizing A Merger With UFC

By Afouda Bamidele on September 22, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) 's current reality involves the slashing of many of its staffers during a company "restructuring."

The entertainment company has finalized its merger with the world's largest mixed martial arts organization, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). However, the company is making moves to adjust its current workforce to fit into the new system, and many of its talented employees are directly affected.

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Inside WWE's Massive Population Shrink

World Wrestling Entertainment reportedly mopped up dozens of positions right after WWE and UFC partnered up together and created TKO Holdings. According to one report, termination notices began circulating at the company's headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, last Friday; over 100 positions at WWE have been removed.

Before the announcement of the new publicly traded company, WWE had about 1,000 employees. However, the elimination was well thought out, as both companies target about keeping $50 to $100 million from their new power move.

The affected posts were duplicate positions held by workers in both companies and their parent company, Endeavor Group Holdings. Nick Khan, the WWE president, in an internal memo on Thursday evening, revealed the new plans:

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"As part of WWE's transition into the newly formed TKO Group Holdings, we are evaluating our existing operations and systems to identify potential synergy. This effort includes workforce reductions, which will take place tomorrow."

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Sources revealed that Endeavor had planned to clear out backlogs created due to the merger since last year in the early stages of acquiring WWE. Endeavor currently owns 51% of the newly partnered company, and CEO Ari Emmanuel confirmed that plans are "underway to maximize revenue and cost synergies immediately upon closing."

Emmanuel reinstated his "bullish" resolve to make TKO work and ensure the progress of WWE media renewal discussions. He revealed all these in an earnings call last month. Executive vice president of development and digital WWE, Jamie Horowitz, and his team in Los Angeles are part of those exiting the company. 

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Sources disclosed that Horowitz will commence work with Omaha production, which he co-founded with Peyton Manning in December 2020 before he joined WWE. Omaha is a Sports Emmy award-winning outfit courtesy of its popular "ManningCast" featuring Peyton and Eli Manning.

The company's value also jumped to a whopping $400 million earlier this year after North Road, owned by Peter Chernin, invested $10 million. Horowitz has a rich resume, including Fox Sports and ESPN management roles. He created "First Take" and "Undisputed" alongside Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, respectively.

The "Embrace Debate" reportedly exited the WWE network on amicable terms, and his friendship with Khan remains intact.

Vince McMahon Planned Shocking Return To The Wrestling Network Despite Sale

Vince McMahon speaking during a Press conference to announced that Sun Life Stadium will host WWE's WrestleMania XXVIII on Sunday April 1, 2012 at Fontainebleau.Miami Beach, Florida

In January, The Blast shared that Vince McMahon is secretly planning to come back to the network despite leaving on shaky grounds. The 77-year-old was hit with serious allegations of sexual misconduct and bribery, causing him to retire suddenly.

However, sources confirmed that the businessman still holds majority voting rights as WWE owner and former chief executive. McMahon allegedly submitted a written consent to return him and former directors Michelle Wilson and George Barrios to the board. In his confirmation statement, he said:

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"WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with the upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms." 

He added that his return would help the company benefit from their plans to sell and negotiate brilliantly for their media rights, offering proper guidance on strategic alternatives. As a controlling shareholder, McMahon believes his presence can foster a smooth interaction between the transacting parties.

The professional wrestling promoter also expressed his interest in collaborating with Wilson and Barrios, "I look forward to working closely again with Michelle and George – as well as the Company's remaining directors and management team, who have my full support and confidence." 

In the spirit of epic returns, the media expert has plans to release a new memoir covering his rise to fame and building the WWE network into a multibillion-dollar outfit. The memoir will be part of his storytelling collection, including a series titled "The United States of America vs. Vince McMahon."

Plans are also underway to release a four-part documentary on Netflix about his life.

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