Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s career has come full circle.
The former professional wrestler, current Hollywood star and one of the most followed figures in social media Johnson, 51, has been appointed to the board of directors of the TKO Group — the publicly-traded umbrella organisation under which both the UFC and WWE operates.
In addition to the his new role, Johnson — a former multiple time WWE champion — has also taken full ownership of his ‘The Rock’ name, which until now had been the intellectual property of the world’s leading professional wrestling organisation.
“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,” Johnson said in a press release. “At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and Ari [Emanuel] is building something truly game-changing.”
He added: “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.”
Since ending his career as an active competitor in the WWE, Johnson has become one of the most bankable names in the action genre of Hollywood movies, while also overseeing myriad other business interests, including part-ownership of the United Football League, which emerged from the ashes of Vince McMahon’s failed XFL.
And his former boss McMahon, now a peer, said that Johnson is uniquely suited to his new role.
“Very few people on the planet understand the convergence of sports, entertainment, media, and business like ‘Rock,'” McMahon said in a statement. “We are proud to have him join the TKO board to help take our company to new heights.”
But per Johnson, this moment represents a significant moment for his family, which has long been steeped in the history of professional wrestling.
“My grandfather, ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come,” Johnson said. “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.”