A number of layoffs of WWE office staff took place Friday, TheWrap has learned.
There were more than 100 WWE employees reportedly let go Friday, industry news outlet PWInsider reports, out of approximately 800 overall. The news comes following WWE and UFC merging to become TKO Group Holdings, under new parent company Endeavor. That deal closed earlier this week.
The layoffs did not include any of the wrestlers themselves, who are also generally classified as independent contractors. Layoffs were expected, as with most mergers. That’s due to both cost-cutting and to people at both companies in similar roles no longer having a place in the new corporate structure.
WWE declined TheWrap’s request for comment. We have reached out to TKO for comment.
Those laid off include Dana Warrior, wife of the late wrestler Ultimate Warrior, according to PWInsider. She served as a WWE public ambassador and previously worked on the company’s creative team. (She previously took on the last name Warrior, matching her husband, who legally changed his name.)
The layoffs hit the executive ranks, including Catherine Newman, executive vice president and head of marketing, as well as Jamie Horowitz, EVP of development and digital.
Horowitz’s team in Los Angeles was also among those laid off Friday, TheWrap learned. He is set to work with Omaha Productions, which Horowitz cofounded with Peyton Manning before joining WWE. Horowitz left WWE on good terms and he remains close with WWE President Nick Khan, sources tell TheWrap.
WWE also officially filed paperwork with the SEC on Friday noting that its chief financial officer, Frank Riddick, will be leaving the company at the end of the month.
Amanda Bloom, who’d served as WWE’s director of enterprise master data and governance, announced her departure on LinkedIn. She noted that she’d been with WWE for eight years and expressed her surprise, writing that the day she left WWE was one “I’m not sure I thought would ever come.”
Alexa Gotthardt, who worked as a digital campaign manager for WWE, also posted about her departure on LinkedIn. “I was on the WWE/TKO list nobody wanted to be on today,” Gotthardt wrote.
A number of their colleagues also publicly voiced messages of support and offered help getting them new work.
An email was sent to staff Thursday by WWE president Nick Khan announcing the impending layoffs. According to a copy obtained by PWInsider, it read, “As part of WWE’s transition into the newly formed TKO Group Holdings, we are evaluating our existing operations and systems to identify potential synergies across the business. This effort includes workforce reductions.” Staff was asked to work remotely to “insure all conversations are handled privately and respectfully.”
For comparison, when Endeavor acquired UFC, about 15% of the staff of the fighting promotion was let go.
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