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ESPN president John Skipper to resign

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Staff Writer | Bristol, Conn., USA | December 19, 2017
John SkipperWalt Disney's John Skipper said he is resigning as president of ESPN due to a problem with addiction.
Since taking the helm as ESPN president and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012, Mr. Skipper has secured ESPN’s global leadership position in the competitive sports media landscape.

Mr. Skipper has led ESPN to a series of long-term, multiplatform agreements with major rights holders (all through at least 2021), including NBA, Major League Baseball, the College Football Playoff, major college conferences, US Open tennis, and the Rose, Sugar, and Orange Bowls.

Mr. Skipper aggressively signed long-term affiliate agreements with cable and satellite providers and new entrants like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW and Hulu.

He has also expanded ESPN’s footprint outside the U.S. with Sony in India, Tencent in China and Kwesé in Africa.

Mr. Skipper holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature from the University of North Carolina and Columbia University, respectively.

He joined ESPN in 1997 and had served as executive vice president, content, prior to being named president.

Former ESPN President and Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer (who worked at ESPN from 1981-2014) will serve as Acting Chair of the company for the next 90 days.

Mr. Bodenheimer is an ESPN and cable industry pioneer and, as the company’s longest-tenured President (13 years, 1998-Dec. 31, 2011).

Mr. Bodenheimer oversaw all multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company from March 3, 2003 – December 31, 2011 and was co-chairman, Disney Media Networks from April 20, 2004 – December 31, 2011.

As of December 18, 2017, Mr. Bodenheimer returned to the company as Acting Chair to provide interim leadership as ESPN identifies a successor to John Skipper. In January 2012, he assumed the position of Executive Chairman, ESPN.

On January 1, 2012, Mr. Bodenheimer assumed the newly created position of Executive Chairman, ESPN.

He serves on the boards of NCTA (The National Cable Telecommunications Association), Cable in the Classroom and the Cable Center.

Mr. Bodenheimer was graduated from Denison University in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics.