The official WWE website announced Monday that John Laurinaitis had resigned from his position as Senior Vice President of Talent Operations, effectively immediately. He will, however, remain with the company as a producer assisting talent with their matches. His resignation is legitimate and not part of any storyline.
According to WWE sources, Laurinaitis had mentioned how exhausted he was with his workload, which consisted of office duties in Stamford, Connecticut and traveling to numerous events as a performer. The writing, however, was on the wall since he was quietly removed from the WWE Corporate website’s index of Executive Officers in April. Paul Levesque, Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, was reportedly never a “Big Johnny” booster and it was believed to be a matter of time before Jane Geddes, Vice President of Talent Relations, and Canyon Ceman, Senior Director of Talent Development, understood the WWE machine. With each element they learned, they assumed duties that belonged to Laurinaitis. Creative writer Michael Hayes had already replaced John Laurinaitis as matchmaker of live events and it said that he was taken out of the loop concerning developmental program matters.
The internal belief is that Laurinaitis will wind up back on television as a performer since most people are surprised that WWE has maintained his character’s firing. He is scheduled to appear at live events through at least September.
Laurinaitis was hired as a producer after WWE’s acquisition of certain assets of World Championship Wrestling in March 2001. When Jim Ross desired to move from Stamford, Connecticut to Norman, Oklahoma, he began grooming Laurinaitis to overtake his position as Vice President of Talent Relations. WWE chief Vince McMahon, however, made the switch without informing Ross first in 2004. Laurinatis was at one point one of the most powerful employees in the organization, and in 2009, was promoted to Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. However, when Stephanie McMahon took over Talent Relations and handed over the reins to Levesque, his power weakened and he was ultimately demoted.
The only person remaining in the talent relations department since last year, aside from employees working in travel, is Mark Carrano. Though WWE stated in their article that Laurinaitis was “burned out” from the position, multiple sources have stated that recent changes to the corporate infrastructure represent Levesque assuming control of certain sectors of the organization and re-shaping them to his liking. Despite his demotion, Laurinaitis chose to maintain employment because he bought an expensive Connecticut home and his family doesn’t want to move away from the area.