Some major news in sports media dropped on Monday morning, with ESPN president John Skipper announcing his resignation. Skipper had been serving as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks.
The decision comes as Skipper also acknowledged a substance addiction that he has decided to focus on taking care of.
Former ESPN president George Bodenheimer will serve as the acting chairman as Disney CEO Bob Iger seeks a replacement.
Skipper has been with ESPN since 1997 when he took over as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. He has served as the company’s president since 2012.
Skipper’s statement can be read below:
“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.”