Official Filing Reveals Financial Terms Of New WWE CFO’s Contract

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Official Filing Reveals Financial Terms Of New WWE CFO’s Contract

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WWE promoted interim Chief Financial & Administrative Officer Frank A. Riddick III on November 5 by removing the “interim” from his role. Because this move was filed publicly, the specific terms of the agreement are available.

The document outlines how Riddick will earn $850,000 with his base salary, $1 million as his signing bonus , and also $5 million in stock.

The portion of the filing related to his salary and other compensation is as follows:

On November 5, 2021, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) issued a press release announcing the departure of Kristina Salen, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, from the Company effective that day. In addition, the Company announced that Frank A. Riddick III has been appointed to serve as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, also effective November 5, 2021. On the same date, Mr. Riddick resigned from the Company’s board of directors. Biographical and other information regarding Mr. Riddick, including his acting as Interim Chief Financial Officer of the Company during a portion of 2020, is included in the Company’s proxy statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 13, 2021 (the “Proxy Statement”), which is incorporated herein by reference.

Mr. Riddick entered into an employment agreement with the Company (the “Employment Agreement”), pursuant to which he agreed to serve as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, effective November 5, 2021. The Employment Agreement provides that Mr. Riddick will receive an annual base salary of $850,000 and a one-time $1.0 million cash sign-on bonus payment, which is subject to certain repayment requirements. In addition, Mr. Riddick will be eligible to earn an annual discretionary performance cash bonus award with a target bonus thereunder of 70% of his base salary. Mr. Riddick also will be eligible to receive equity awards subject to and governed by the terms of the Company’s 2016 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “Incentive Plan”). His initial annual target incentive award will be in a target amount equal to 100% of his base salary. In connection with the appointment, Mr. Riddick received a sign-on inducement grant of restricted stock units valued at $5.0 million, which are subject to and governed by the terms of the Incentive Plan and the applicable award agreement, which provide for claw-back and recovery of vested amounts in certain circumstances. The restricted stock units will vest in equal installments over four years beginning on June 30, 2022. Mr. Riddick also will be eligible to participate in future equity award programs and other compensation and benefits plans and programs available to similarly situated executives.

Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics analyzed the official document in a series of tweets:

Frank Riddick’s employment agreement has been publicly filed. While becoming full-time WWE CFO, he resigns from his role on the board of directors. He will get a $850,000 base salary, a $1 million cash sign-on bonus, and $5 million-worth of WWE stock.

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) November 5, 2021

Riddick must work for WWE for 3 years to keep the entire $1 million cash bonus which is paid to him in a lump sum on his first pay day, which suggests he intends to work for WWE for at least 3 years. He’s also eligible for discretionary performance bonus awards.

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) November 5, 2021

Riddick’s signature on the agreement is dated November 3, which indicates the CFO transition was decided on since at least Wednesday.

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) November 5, 2021

Riddick replaces Kristina Salen, who was surprisingly removed from the role after she took over in July 2020; she participated in the company’s third quarter financials call on November 4. Thurston notes that Riddick’s signature is dated November 3, so the move was privately confirmed prior to the call.

Riddick had spent more than 13 years on the company’s Board of Directors, and he was named the interim CFO in 2020.

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