In a shocking statement on Dec. 18, ESPN President, John Skipper revealed he is stepping down to seek help for substance abuse. Here’s everything you should know!
After nearly six years as president of ESPN, John Skipper, 61, has resigned, citing substance addiction. In an abrupt statement on Monday, Dec. 18, Skipper said he’s battled the issue “for many years,” and decided that it’s time to get help. In his departing statement — as seen below — Skipper said he and the company have “mutually agreed” it was appropriate for him to resign. In wake of the shocking news, here’s five things to know about Skipper.
1. Skipper’s statement of resignation — “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.”
2. Skipper was part of ESPN since 1997. — Skipper joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. In 2012, he was named President of ESPN.
3. Who will take his place? — George Bodenheimer, 59, ESPN’s president from 1998 to 2011 and its executive chairman until May 2014, will take over as the acting chairman of the company for the next 90 days, while he helps Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger, 66, find Skipper’s replacement. — Per ESPN.
4. He recently signed a contract extension before resigning. — Skipper, who will be 62 on Dec. 19, finalized a contract extension in early November, to stay with ESPN throughout 2021.
5. Skipper worked for well-known magazines, before joining ESPN. — After receiving his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill, and his master’s degree in the same field from Columbia University, Skipper went on to work for Rolling stone. He also worked at Us and Spin.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked over Skipper’s resignation?