Bert’s hero just resigned. Apparently his visions for ESPN ha d no substance...
John Skipper resigns as ESPN president
John Skipper resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media
Networks on Monday.
George Bodenheimer, ESPN's president from 1998 to 2011 and its executive
chairman until May 2014, will take over as the acting chairman of the company
for the next 90 days to help Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob
Iger find Skipper's replacement.
Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images
"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," Skipper said in a
statement. "I have had a wonderful career at the Walt Disney Company and am
grateful for the many opportunities and friendships. I owe a debt to many, but
most profoundly Michael Lynton, George Bodenheimer and Bob Iger.
"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided
that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.
"I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it
was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding
and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.
"I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling
of having let others I care about down.
"As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for
appropriate privacy and a little understanding.
"To my colleagues at ESPN, it has been a privilege. I take great pride in your
accomplishments and have complete confidence in your collective ability to
continue ESPN's success."
Skipper, 61, joined ESPN in 1997 as senior vice president and general manager
of ESPN The Magazine. He was named to his current job on Jan. 1, 2012.
"I join John Skipper's many friends and colleagues across the company in
wishing him well during this challenging time," Iger said in a statement. "I
respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his
family. With his departure, George Bodenheimer has agreed to serve as Acting
Chair of ESPN for the next 90 days to provide interim leadership, help me
identify and secure John's successor, and ensure a smooth transition. I am
grateful for George's support and look forward to working with him again in
this temporary role."
Bodenheimer, 59, was named president of ESPN on Nov. 19, 1998, and continued in
the role through the end of 2011. He was then the company's executive chairman
after Skipper took over as president of the company.
Bodenheimer issued a statement, saying: "I have great respect for John's
leadership, and I applaud the courage he's demonstrating by addressing his
challenge head on. The most important thing right now for John and his family
is that he conquers his addiction, and the entire ESPN family is behind him.
"I've stayed in close contact with John, and I believe in the direction he's
taking ESPN. He's assembled an outstanding leadership team -- many of whom I
know very well -- and I am extremely confident we will work together
effectively to move ESPN forward during this transition."