Didn’t see this one coming.
John Skipper, ESPN’s president since 2012, is resigning:
Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN.
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.
I doubt this is a fall-on-the-sword thing after the Disney acquisition of FOX. Though the timing is interesting, I doubt one would prefer the substance abuse route over just an outright layoff.
Bodenheimer was the president of ESPN from 1998-2012, during inarguably their most successful run, though how much of that had to do with programming rather than cable carriage fees is debatable. Either way, ESPN is in capable hands for the time being.