ESPN President John Skipper Resigns Over Substance Addiction

ESPN President John Skipper quit abruptly on Monday morning.

John Skipper.

Image via Getty/Anna Webber/Stringer

John Skipper.

ESPN President John Skipper resigned abruptly on Monday morning. Skipper, who also served as co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks, cited "substance addiction" as his reason for leaving The Worldwide Leader in Sports in a statement that he put out through the company.

John Skipper resigns as ESPN president to battle addiction, George Bodenheimer takes over as acting chairman.

— ESPN (@espn) December 18, 2017

"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," Skipper said. "I have had a wonderful career at 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 to 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."

Skipper first joined ESPN back in 1997 in the role of senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. He moved his way up through the ranks and was eventually named President of ESPN in early 2012.

Many of those within the ESPN family have responded to the news about Skipper’s departure with their support.

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

George Bodenheimer, who served as ESPN President from 1998 through 2011, will serve as president again until a replacement is found for Skipper.

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