ESPN President Abruptly Resigns Citing Substance Addiction

ESPN President John Skipper released a statement today announcing his abrupt resignation and citing substance addiction as the cause.

"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," Skipper began his statement, as reported by ESPN.

He then revealed that he has "struggled for many years with a substance addiction," and added, "I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."

Skipper also explained that he "disclosed" his "decision to the company" and that they "mutually agreed that it was appropriate that" he resign.

He also wrote, "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," Skipper concluded.

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In response to Skipper's resignation announcement, Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, also released a statement, announcing that "George Bodenheimer has agreed to serve as Acting Chair of ESPN for the next 90 days to provide interim leadership."

“I join John Skipper’s many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time. I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family," Iger said.