Endeavor’s publicly traded TKO Group has named Dwayne Johnson to its board of directors, effective today. The WWE superstar has also secured full ownership of the trademarked name The Rock.
TKO is the parent company of WWE and UFC.
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The name The Rock is derived from his father, WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, who was the first Black champion in WWE history (alongside partner Tony Atlas). Johnson’s grandfather, Peter Maivia, a Samoan-American professional wrestler, was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
Rock and WWE have inked a merchandising agreement that provides for promotion, licensing, and other services.
“I am thrilled to partner with Dwayne and welcome his immense talent to TKO’s Board. Dwayne brings an incredible track record of creating content and building globally recognized consumer brands, and he will play a key role in realizing our ambitions for TKO,” said TKO (and Endeavor) CEO Ariel Emanuel.
“Very few people on the planet understand the convergence of sports, entertainment, media, and business like Rock,” said TKO executive chair Vince McMahon, who sold WWE to Endeavor last year.
The Rock, one of the most decorated WWE superstars ever, a global social media icon and Hollywood star, said, “My grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come. Which is why I’m very humbled to have a seat at the table that has decades of history and family legacy for me. A table that my family helped to build. Being on the TKO Board of Directors, and taking full ownership of my name, ‘The Rock’, is not only unprecedented, but incredibly inspiring as my crazy life is coming full circle.”
“At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and Ari is building something truly game changing. I’m very motivated to help continue to globally expand our TKO, WWE, and UFC businesses as the worldwide leaders in sports and entertainment — while proudly representing so many phenomenal athletes and performers who show up every day putting in the hard work with their own two hands to make their dreams come true and deliver for our audiences. I’ve been there, I’m still there and this is for them,” he said.
Johnson’s business portfolio includes Seven Bucks Productions, Teremana Tequila, ZOA Energy, Under , Armour and a line of fitness apparel under the Project Roc brand. In 2020, he co-led a consortium to acquire the XFL, a professional American football league, which re-launched in 2023 before merging with the USFL to form the UFL.
The TKO announcement said the appointment of Johnson “reflects TKO’s commitment to delivering long-term value and strong performance for shareholders through strategic growth initiatives across both UFC and WWE.”
Separately, TKO also named Brad Keywell to its board, moving it to 13 directors from 11.
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