ESPN will be looking for a new president.
On Monday, John Skipper announced that he has resigned as ESPN president, citing a substance-abuse problem. He was also serving as co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks.
“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.”
Bodenheimer, who served as ESPN president from 1998-2011 and as executive chairman until May 2014, will be ESPN’s acting chairman for the next 90 days while Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive officer, looks for Skipper’s replacement.
Skipper, 61, joined ESPN in 1997 to serve as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. He became ESPN’s president on Jan. 1, 2012.
“I join John Skipper’s many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time,” Iger said in a statement. “I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family. With his departure, George Bodenheimer has agreed to serve as Acting Chair of ESPN for the next 90 days to provide interim leadership, help me identify and secure John’s successor, and ensure a smooth transition. I am grateful for George’s support and look forward to working with him again in this temporary role.”
The new president will take over a company that has had some recent struggles, which included another round of layoffs last month.