WWE, despite being labeled an essential business in the state of Florida, allowing it to run live shows, has had to make some hard decisions regardless to help keep the company afloat financially. From having to stop construction on the new headquarters, to letting go of on-air and backstage talent. Below is more information on their official statement and the names currently confirmed as being released, with potentially more names to be announced.
WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon held a call meeting with company employees earlier today and confirmed that there will be cuts and furloughed employees decided soon, and that plans to move into the new company HQ in Stamford, CT has been delayed.
WWE® PROVIDES COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE
STAMFORD, Conn., April 15, 2020 – 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 the 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.
List of talent being released:
* Deonna Purrazzo
* Aleksandar Jaksic
* No Way Jose
* Mike Kanellis
* Maria Kanellis
* Sarah Logan
* Karl Anderson
* Luke Gallows
* Drake Maverick
* Curt Hawkins
* Heath Slater
* Eric Young
* Lio Rush
PRODUCERS (Furloughed or released):
* WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle (Released)
* Billy Kidman
* Mike Rotunda
* Pat Buck
* Fit Finlay
* Shawn Daivari
* Scott Armstrong
* Sarah Stock
* Shane Helms
* Lance Storm
* Aiden English
* Mike Chioda
* Andrea Listenberger