The hiring of Nick Khan as the new WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer came as a “shock” in the industry as Khan was very instrumental in his old position at Creative Artists Agency, with many wondering how WWE even managed to get their hands on him.
Khan, who will be one of the most powerful executives in the company reporting directly to Vince McMahon, represented WWE in the television negotiations with NBCUniversal and FOX. Those negotiations landed WWE a combined TV deal worth over $2 billion for five years.
In an interview with Sports Business Journal, the 45-year-old said that last year, he and his wife were invited to a small 50th birthday party of Paul “Triple H” Levesque, held inside the home of the WWE Hall of Famer and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon.
“We looked around the room and said, ‘It’s really kind of them to consider us friends,'” he said. “For a family-run business – albeit a publicly traded one – it just felt right. At that moment, I started thinking, ‘I wonder if there’s something bigger and better to do with them.'”
Khan admitted that during his 13 years as an agent, there were other opportunities which came along but he never contemplated any of them seriously. But, “When this opportunity emerged, it seemed like a no-brainer,” Khan told SBJ.
His former colleagues at CAA speaking highly of Khan and said that he left the company on very good terms. CAA board member and co-Head of CAA Sports Michael Levine said, “Nick is a proven leader, savvy business strategist and exceptional team builder. From helping grow our sports broadcasting group into an industry leader to his collaborative contributions across the entire agency, Nick has made a tremendous and everlasting impact.”
But now, the focus shifts on WWE and while profits are huge and the financial situation looks great, not everything is fine and dandy in the company, especially the sinking television ratings which will affect negotiations for a new TV deal in a couple of years.
“The first thing I want to do is figure out where the bathrooms are,” Khan joked. “We all have a lot of ideas in our head. It might be a little premature to share them in terms of when we are going to execute those.”