World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is stepping aside away from the business side of the wrestling company

while an investigation is conducted into an alleged hush-money payment to cover up sexual misconduct

...the WWE and its board of directors announced Friday.

McMahon has run the company for 40 years after taking over for his father in 1982

When WWE was known as the World Wrestling Federation

He'll still maintain control of the WWE's creative output during the investigation

and the company announced he'd appear on Friday night's episode of SmackDown.

McMahon said in the company's statement -

"I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the Special Committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation. I have also pledged to accept the findings and outcome of the investigation, whatever they are,"