POST by Stephen Gregory, Senior Consultant:
WWE is a worldwide entertainment brand, known for taking the “sport” of wrestling from hundreds of small auditoriums and tents around the country into the modern era of the truly integrated media and entertainment company.
As of today the company airs several high-profile programs such as Raw and SmackDown in more than 150 countries, hosts 12 pay-per-view events a year including WrestleMania, and holds approximately 320 live events a year throughout the world. In 2014, WWE launched the first ever 24/7 streaming network which would eventually showcase the entire WWE video library.
The 72-year-old founder, Vince McMahon, serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He has been responsible for the development of a raft of popular characters and creative storylines, including huge entertainment figures like Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jesse “The Body” (and Governor) Ventura, Randy Savage, André the Giant, Steve Austin, and of course, current star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
I have special memories about this company as it was nurtured on Cape Cod – the matches of its forerunner (owned by Vince’s Dad) were held on Route 28 in Yarmouth in a field on Mill Hill, where The Cove Resort is now located. When I was in my teens and early twenties the shows were at the Cape Cod Coliseum – now a big warehouse for Cape Cod Potato Chips and the Christmas Tree Shops.
The reason for this post?
WWE, a wildly successful, publicly held family business, heavily dependent on the talent and vision of the founder and CEO, has NO SUCCESSION PLAN in place for Vince McMahon.
Vince took his father’s little wrestling gig from a tent in Yarmouth to international renown and created multiple major stars along the way – he’s had a great run and as a family business they have done well enough that his wife and partner, Linda, is currently the Administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Trump. (And yes, that’s a picture of Donald Trump and Vince at the WWE “Battle of the Billionaires” Event).
That’s an American Success Story, but how would you like to be the one to tell “The Rock“, Hulk Hogan or Jesse Ventura that there is no plan for their future in the event that something should happen to this creative star?
Not having a plan for the loss of the company’s creative driving force is not unusual – it’s why so many family owned companies falter and fail. If you own a small business and would like to leave a legacy for your family, you, like Vince McMahon, need to have a plan in place for how the company will survive your departure – whether that is through a sale, retirement to Florida, natural disaster or ….
Senior Business Consultants, LLC is a group of experienced executives who, as part of their consulting practice, advise family owned businesses, like WWE (some bigger, some smaller) how to develop and put in place a sensible, simple succession plan to protect and preserve the work of a lifetime for future generations. We can also help family business owners put in place policies and procedures which will make the business more valuable should a sale be in the cards.
We can help keep your Hulk Hogan or “Rock” happy and secure, knowing that you are thinking of their futures.
Read the astounding details of Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, “The Rock” and WWE’s situation HERE.