ESPN president John Skipper made the surprising announcement Monday that he was resigning from his position, citing a substance-abuse problem.
In addition to his role as ESPN’s president, he was serving as co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks.
Georgia Bodenheimer, who served as ESPN president from 1998-2011 and as executive chairman until May 2014, will work as ESPN’s acting chairman for the next 90 days. Bob Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive officer, will search 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.
Many on Twitter had reactions to the development. A sampling of the takes is below.
John Skipper's commitment to diversity & inclusion at ESPN has been not only inspiring, but comforting to those of us who want to believe things are headed in the right direction. Deeply saddened to hear of his resignation.
— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) December 18, 2017
This timing is very strange. ESPN just announced a multi-year extension for John Skipper last month. There are execs dropping like crazy for inappropriate behavior. Bigger story coming? I’d bet so.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 18, 2017
Espn president John Skipper resigns effective immediately. Long live the king! pic.twitter.com/6rWNWyUNkF
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 18, 2017
Slam ESPN and Skipper's leadership all you want, but don't slam him for his substance abuse addition.
I admire John Skipper for acknowledging he needed help to take care of his addition.
I wish John Skipper the best in his road to recovery. https://t.co/ct6DTOvQJG
— Chris Yandle (@ChrisYandle) December 18, 2017
Can't even imagine the courage it took to face addiction so publicly. Wishing John Skipper the strength he will need to face it.
— Jane McManus (@janesports) December 18, 2017
Asked why John Skipper was resigning now, just one month after his contract was renewed, an ESPN source said, “Addiction doesn't follow neat and orderly lines.” https://t.co/aPEZDqhZLb
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 18, 2017
John Skipper is one of the finest people I’ve ever worked for. He’s been incredibly supportive throughout my career at ESPN. This isn’t company-speak. I seriously cannot express how much respect I have for him.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 18, 2017
John Skipper is my friend and one of my heroes. I wish him and his family all the best.
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) December 18, 2017
Have only met John Skipper a couple of times but I know how powerful addiction can be. I am glad he is getting the help he needs. If you need help, please ask for it!
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) December 18, 2017
So John Skipper resigns just all of a sudden? For substance abuse? No way. Getting out in front of something 101
— seanQ (@sean_on_thelow) December 18, 2017
There have been few better and more genuinely influential growers of soccer in America in my lifetime than John Skipper. Best wishes to him and his family.
— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) December 18, 2017
A leader we respect & admire has made a tough but right call. John Skipper has resigned to take on a substance addiction. Former Prez Bodenheimer to lead transition. https://t.co/9j8m6U4LcK
— Chris LaPlaca (@espn_chris) December 18, 2017
Difficult news for ESPN today. It has been an honor to work with and for John Skipper. Thinking of him and his family. https://t.co/s6WNcruMwa
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) December 18, 2017