It has been a couple of weeks since WWE announced its newest member to its very successful corporate team, Nick Khan, as the company’s newest President & Chief Revenue Officer, a position with a direct report to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. Mr. Khan, who agreed to work for WWE on August 3rd, 2020 with a starting date of August 5th will earn a base annual salary of $1.2 million per year along with a sign-on bonus of $5 million dollars, a sign-on grant of performance stock units of WWE Class A common stock valued at $15 million along with other perks according to WWE’s SEC filings on August 6th, 2020. Nick Khan’s agreement with WWE is for five years with a contract end date of August 5th, 2025. Khan replaces both George Barrios and Michelle Wilson, who were terminated by the company earlier in the year. But what is the significance of the company’s newest hire? Here is some more backstory to why he has joined the sports entertainment juggernaut.
Khan, formerly of Creative Artist Agency (CAA), was the company’s co-head of television and first joined the company back in 2012. Under his leadership, Khan was able to negotiate the blockbuster media rights fees deals between WWE and both FOX Corp and NBC Universal worth more than $2 Billion dollars. Khan’s negotiating power is second to none and because of the deals has made the company more money than it has ever generated. At the time the deals were made, Khan brokered the deal while working with CAA, the deal cost WWE $5.1 million, which is now an amount WWE will likely save come the next round of negotiations in 2022 when renegotiating a new deal for the company’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live in 2024.
One of Khan’s immediate tasks in his new position with the company is to close the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) deal which seems to have been a challenge for the company over the past year, along with trying to sell the rights for the WWE Network to a streaming service, a subject of conversation that was brought by Vince McMahon during the 4th Quarter 2019 earnings call back on February 6th, 2020. During the months leading up to Khans hiring, it was rumored that such companies as ESPN, who is the current partner of the UFC expressed interest in being the exclusive provider for WWE premium content such as the companies premier annual event, Wrestlemania.
With WWE’s newest addition to its executive team, it would seem that the company could strike gold again come 2022 and 2024, and while that is ultimately unknown at this time, the hiring of Nick Khan has positively positioned the company in the right direction.