WWE Furloughs Staff, Cuts Executive Pay to Weather Coronavirus

Company will also push back development of new headquarters

Vince McMahon

Despite given clearance resume live shows in Florida, the WWE said on Wednesday it will furlough staff and cut executive pay in an attempt to weather the economic storm brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“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 WWE said on Wednesday. “The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature.”

The Vince McMahon-led wrestling business will also defer spending on its new headquarters for at least six months. The WWE expects to save around $4 million per month and improve cash flow by $140 million.

WWE is scheduled to report its earnings on April 23.

WWE was named an “essential business” in Florida last week despite a statewide stay-at-home order enacted earlier this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This reclassification allows the company to resume shooting live shows, sans a live audience, out of its Orlando training facility and Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

On April 9, a memo from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office revealed that the pro-wrestling company had been added to the state’s list of “essential services,” as the document extended the term to include “employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public.”