Cutting Through the Corporate Code

The curious leadership style of the board of directors of World Wrestling Entertainment, Incorporated (NYSE/NASDAQ: WWE) has again perplexed the business community and financial experts around the globe.

The company is currently in the midst of something of a power struggle between two longtime holders of upper-management positions, Theodore Long and John Laurinaitis.  The board has concluded that the continued employment of both men is an impossibility.  Such a scenario in and of itself isn’t all that unusual within the corporate world, particularly in a situation in which the company has a sizable entertainment component.

The unusual part is the method by which the company’s board will resolve the dilemma of which of the two mutually-exclusive employees to release.

The board issued a statement* this morning that I found to be remarkable in many respects.  The document speaks for itself, but I’ve provided some annotations below to add context to the underlying substance.  The take-home point is that the manner in which the corporate arm of WWE makes critical personnel decisions is totally foreign to the normal conduct of American industry:

I think the smart money is on Laurinaitis.  He’s a ranking WWE executive, whereas this Long person holds no executive position insofar as I can tell, although he does have some impressive credentials.  I suppose we’ll find out at WrestleMania 28 which employee will be retained.  Appropriately enough (considering this company’s laughable business practices), the event takes place on April 1st.


*Yes, in reality, I understand the actual corporate Board of Directors did not generate this document.  It’s a TV show.  I get it.
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