WWE has replaced its two top executives as George Barrios and Michelle Wilson have been forced out of their roles as co-presidents after 2019 earnings came in at the low end of estimates, the company announced Thursday. The two will also no longer serve on the company's board of directors effective immediately.
Shares of WWE plunged as much as 27% to $45.29 in extended trading after the company announced its high-level personnel decisions. The share price began to rebound after the market opened Friday morning.
Frank A. Riddick III, a longtime WWE board member will be the interim Chief Financial Officer and will report to WWE chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
"I would like to thank George and Michelle for their 10+ years of service and contributions to the organization,” McMahon said in an official release. “I am grateful for all that was accomplished during their tenure, but the Board and I decided a change was necessary as we have different views on how best to achieve our strategic priorities moving forward.
“We have a deep team of talented, experienced and committed executives across the organization, and the Board and I have great confidence in our collective abilities to create compelling content, engage our global fanbase across platforms, increase revenues, and drive shareholder value.”
Variety reported in July 2019 that ratings for WWE's two main shows, "Monday Night Raw" and "SmackDown Live," had fallen around 20% each compared to the beginning of 2018. "SmackDown" moved to FOX in Oct. 2019, the beginning of a five-year deal with the network.