ESPN President John Skipper Abruptly Resigns, Cites ‘Substance Addiction’


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Skipper’s resignation was sudden and shocking. Former president George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chairman.

ESPN president John Skipper abruptly and unexpectedly announced his resignation on Monday, citing “substance addiction.”

“I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction,” he said in a statement. “I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.”

Skipper continued: “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.”

The network announced that former ESPN president George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chairman for 90 days and will work with Disney CEO Bob Iger to help find Skipper’s replacement.

“I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down,” Skipper said in his announcement on Monday. “As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.”

Skipper, who joined ESPN in 1997, has served as president since 2012. His contract runs through 2018. In mid-November, it was reported by multiple outlets that Skipper’s contract had been extended through 2021, but the network would not confirm the reports.



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