ESPN President John Skipper Suddenly Resigns: 'I Struggled For Many Years'

December 18, 2017Dec 18, 2017

It is being reported that John Skipper announced his sudden retirement as President of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks on Monday. He will be replaced by George Bodenheimer, who was ESPN's president from 1998-2011 and executive chairman until May 2014, according to ABC News

Bodenheimer will serve as the acting chairman of the company for the next 90 days to help Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger find a replacement for Skipper. 

In a statement, Skipper announced that he will be resigning from his duties, but remarked that he cherishes his "wonderful career" at the Walt Disney Company and is very grateful for the friendships he has made.

"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," Skipper said. "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."

Skipper then revealed why he is resigning. First and foremost, he claims the resignation comes after years of substance addiction. He has decided that the most important thing to do is take care of his problem. 

"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 joined ESPN in 1997 as a senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. He wasn't named to his current position in the company until January 1, 2012. Bodenheimer was named the president of ESPN in November 1998 and continued to work through the end of 2011, according to USA Today.

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