Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to join the board of directors for TKO Group Holdings, which includes the recently merged WWE and UFC. In addition to his board position, Johnson secures full ownership of his stage name, “The Rock,” as part of the deal. The company will pay Johnson $30 million in stock awards to promote the brand, with the awards vesting over 2024 and 2025. The move is part of TKO’s effort to expand globally, and Johnson’s experience in revenue generation and media rights makes him a valuable addition to the board.
The TKO board now comprises 13 members, with Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell also appointed on the same day. Vince McMahon, executive chairman of TKO’s board, praised Johnson’s understanding of the convergence of sports, entertainment, media, and business. The merger of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Endeavor Group formed TKO last year.
Separately, Netflix announced its exclusive acquisition of the rights to “WWE Raw,” currently airing on Comcast’s USA cable network. The show will begin streaming live on Netflix from January 2025. The move is part of Netflix’s strategy to feature more live events and marks a transformative deal according to Mark Shapiro, TKO President. The deal is expected to bring significant and predictable economics for many years.