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WWE CONFIRMS DEPARTURE OF LONG-STANDING EXECUTIVE IN NEW CORPORATE DISCLOSURE, THIRD EXEC OUSTED THIS WEEK

By Mike Johnson on 2020-11-20 16:16:00

WWE issued the announcement of Karen Mullane becoming its Controller and Principal Accounting Officer.  In that announcement, it was confirmed that Mark Kowal, who had been with the company over the last 19 years, has departed.

Kowal was among the executive names PWInsider.com had heard was let go by the company earlier this week, but had not been able to previously confirm. 

As noted, Kowal had been with the company for over 19 years, initially as Director, General Accounting before being promoted in June 2004 to the position of Corporate Controller.  In that role, Kowal oversaw a lot of the company's financial and accounting departments as well as their investments and asset management.

WWE's official corporate announcement of Mullane being installed into her new position reads:

Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On November 19, 2020, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) appointed Karen Mullane as its Controller and Principal Accounting Officer. The appointment coincides with the departure of Mark Kowal after 19 years of dedicated service to the Company.

Since April 2020, Ms. Mullane, age 56, has served as the Chief Financial Officer of CreateMe Technologies, a privately held company bringing technology and hardware innovations to the apparel industry. Prior to that, from January 2019 until April 2020 she served as Vice President and Corporate Controller of SeatGeek, Inc., a ticket platform enabling users to buy and sell tickets for live sports, concerts and theater events. From July 2018 until January 2019, Ms. Mullane was the Vice President and Corporate Controller, Chief Accounting Officer for SoulCycle, a privately held New York City-based fitness company. From January 2014 to November 2017, Ms. Mullane served as Vice President and Corporate Controller of Etsy, Inc.

Ms. Mullane executed an offer letter with the Company (the “Offer Letter”), pursuant to which she agreed to serve as the Controller of the Company effective on November 19, 2020. The Offer Letter provides that Ms. Mullane will receive an annual base salary of $415,000, payable bi-weekly. In addition, Ms. Mullane will be eligible to earn annual cash incentive awards under the Company’s management incentive plan. Ms. Mullane’s annual target incentive award will be 35% of her base salary. Further information about the Company’s management incentive plan is included in the Company’s proxy statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 6, 2020. Ms. Mullane will also receive a sign-on bonus in the amount of $61,500, subject to repayment if Ms. Mullane voluntarily terminates her employment with the Company. Ms. Mullane will also conditionally receive certain relocation expenses and temporary housing. In connection with the appointment, Ms. Mullane will be granted restricted stock units of the Company’s Class A common stock valued at $166,000. These restricted stock units will be subject to and governed by the terms of the Company’s Omnibus Incentive Plan and will vest in three equal annual installments. Ms. Mullane will also be eligible to participate in future equity award programs that are offered to other executives of the Company. Finally, Ms. Mullane will be eligible to participate in the Company’s compensation and benefits plans and programs available to similarly situated executives.

The foregoing description of the Offer Letter is qualified in its entirety by reference to the complete text of the Offer Letter, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit 10.1 to this Current Report on Form 8-K and incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Mullane has no family relationships with any director or executive officer of the Company, and there are no arrangements or understandings with any person pursuant to which she was selected as an officer of the Company. In addition, there have been no transactions directly or indirectly involving Ms. Mullane that would be required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

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Kowal would be the third confirmed Executive gone from the company over the last week, following John Brody and Brian Nurse in what would appear to be the latest reorganization/cost-cutting maneuvers by World Wrestling Entertainment. 

PWInsider.com has heard additional execs may have also been cut and is working to confirm that is the case.

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