Senate candidate, WWE founder McMahon joins consultancy firm

Linda McMahon, the former head of the World Wrestling Entertainment empire, joined APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council on Thursday.

McMahon lost a second consecutive bid for a Senate seat in November, spending a total of about $100 million of her own money on both campaigns.

Now, she’s headed back to Washington to join several former government officials, corporate leaders, journalists, academics and diplomats to work on the global consulting firm’s international board.

McMahon says she is “excited” to join the group of 90 leaders.

“I know firsthand how critical such advice can be when your goal is a true transformation,” she said in a statement.

After the election, McMahon told Bloomberg that she wanted to keep working on her philanthropy projects — she has worked with veterans programs, the Special Olympics, in literacy programs and served on the advisory board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation — but had no plans to run for public office again.

“I think I’ve given that a really good, strong shot. At this moment, it’s not a consideration,” she said at the time.

“Linda is a savvy business leader who grew a small, regional company into a global brand that is a leader in the entertainment sector,” said the council’s founder and chief executive Margery Kraus, in a release. “Her firsthand experience in branding, rapid growth, market entry and transformation will allow our clients to have access to even greater insights.”

McMahon founded the WWE in the early 1980s, eventually expanding the company from a 13-person operation to a publicly traded company with a reach around the world.

APCO Worldwide has listed the Clinton Global Initiative, IKEA, Proctor & Gamble, Sprint, Microsoft and Bristol Myers Squibb as clients for its communications services.

The firm counted the WWE as a lobbying client until earlier this year, though federal lobbying data shows it hadn’t taken money from the company for its activities, which remained mostly dormant, since 2001.

APCO received nearly $2.5 million for lobbying the federal government last year, though that is not its primary business activity.