George Bodenheimer has been named executive chairman of ESPN and John Skipper ESPN president and co-chair, Disney Media Networks, replacing Bodenheimer. Skipper has served as ESPN’s executive vice president, content, since October 2005.
The moves are effective Jan. 1, 2012.
According to ESPN, the realignment weill continue the company’s focus on ensuring strategic continuity and succession planning. The promotions were unveiled to day by Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Robert Iger.
“I’ve been with ESPN 31 years – my entire professional career,” Bodenheimer (pictured above) said in a statement. “Constant change and consistent growth have marked each of those years, and to me those two themes underscore today’s news. We’ve demonstrated that change managed well is healthy – for companies and for people. After 13 years as President, I felt it was a good time to step away from the day to day management of ESPN and let others take the lead. I very much appreciate Bob’s support over the years, and look forward to my future role with ESPN”
Skipper joined ESPN in June 1997 as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. Previously, he was senior vice president of The Disney Publishing Group, overseeing all of Disney’s magazine, book and licensed publishing operations in the United States.
According to Skipper, “I am humbled and excited to be given the opportunity by Bob and George to lead this terrific company. George set a high bar and an impeccable example, and I will dedicate all of my energy to follow George’s lead in both empowering and supporting my 7,000 ESPN colleagues who do such great work every day. I look forward to working alongside them in meeting the many challenges that lie ahead.”