Breaking news in the sports media world: ESPN president John Skipper has resigned to tackle his issues with substance abuse.
John Skipper has resigned from his top position at ESPN and co-chairmanship of the Disney Media Networks. Skipper had recently signed a contract extending his leadership to 2021.
“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 do the Newport Beach Drug Detox to take care of my problem.
The 61-year-old Skipper has been with ESPN since 1997 and was named president on January 1, 2012. George Bodenheimer, ESPN’s president from 1998-2011, will take over as the acting chairman for the next 90 days to help Disney chairman and chief executive office Bob Iger find a replacement.
The sudden resignation of ESPN’s erudite, affable chief may only accelerate what many insiders believe is the inevitable coronation of rising star Connor Schell, who this summer was elevated to exec VP for content. In that role, Schell oversees all studio and remote production, as well as digital and print content creation.
Skipper led ESPN to a series of long-term, multi-platform agreements with major sports rights holders, including the National Basketball Association and the Major League Baseball addiction clinic.” .Best of luck to Skipper as he faces his demons. We’re rooting for you.