ESPN president John Skipper resigned Monday to focus on his health, according to the network.
Skipper, 61, admitted in a statement that he’s struggled with substance addiction for many years.
“I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down,” Skipper said.
Skipper joined ESPN in 1997 as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. He was named to his current job on Jan. 1, 2012.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said former ESPN president and executive chairman George Bodenheimer will serve as the acting chair of the company for the next 90 days. Beodenheimer, who worked at ESPN for more than three decades, will help Iger oversee the transition process as the company looks for a new president.
Skipper’s decision to resign comes less than a week after a former ESPN personality accused the network of trying to silence her and other women who assert they were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment. ESPN denied the allegations.
Many current and former ESPN employees expressed support for Skipper.
“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.”
Here’s how others reacted:
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
2 years ago my dad died right before the NBA finals. He was my hero. My mom insisted he would want me to do my job. So I did. At game 1, John Skipper asked me "are we doing all we can for you?" That's the kind of man he is. I wish him the best as he conquers this challenge.— stan verrett (@stanverrett) 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
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