CBO of WWE Stephanie McMahon on Staying Slightly Ahead of the Curve

Headshot of Nadine Dietz

As her father once told her, “You want to be slightly ahead of the curve. Not so far ahead that people don’t understand what you’re doing and you certainly don’t want to be behind. You always want to be slightly ahead of the curve.”

Stephanie McMahon, the first Chief Brand Officer of the WWE, is fourth-generation in the tremendous organization that is led by her father, Vince McMahon, CEO and Chairman. And that specific guidance from him has resonated with her and has steered the expansions that she’s brought forward, evolving WWE from a live sport to a multi-media entertainment conglomerate that is heavily invested in supporting their diverse community.

Stephanie grew up in the family business and has really stretched the model for sports entertainment in so many unique ways. Having started as a child model at the age of 8, Stephanie has not only excelled in media–she personally has 3 million Twitter followers–and building a multi-media business, she’s also starred for years in their show about the WWE as the “villainous daughter” and even jumped in the ring with Ronda Rousey.

And it doesn’t end there, beyond the camera and the stars, Stephanie has committed the WWE brand and platform to support her community across four key pillars: inclusion, hope, service and empowerment. I will never do justice to Stephanie sharing the story in this podcast of a little boy named Connor Michalek and what led her and her husband to form a fund called Connor’s Cure that now sits with the V foundation for Cancer Research.

There is so much packed in this episode that blew my mind and my heart. I hope you find time to tune in to this special episode all about heroes. Heroes come in many forms, including The Real Heroes Project, but Steph is now one of my heroes. From the way she has taken “brand” to a whole new level, changed the game entirely in the sports world, and how many people she’s helped along the way… yup, she’s a hero.

nadine.dietz@adweek.com Nadine Dietz is chief community officer at Adweek and host of the CMO Moves podcast.