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ESPN President John Skipper resigns to deal with substance addiction

  • ESPN President John Skipper resigns to deal with substance addiction issues.
  • Executive chairman George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chief as the Disney-owned company searches for a replacement.

ESPN President John Skipper resigned on Monday in order to deal with substance abuse issues.

Skipper, who joined ESPN in 1997 as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine, has been president of the company since 2012.

Former ESPN president and executive chairman George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chair for the next 90 days while the company searches for a new executive.

Below is a statement issued by Skipper:

"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."

The decision to leave Disney was mutual, according to Skipper. He asked for privacy at this time.

Disney CEO Bob Iger wished Skipper well during his recovery, and applauded his decision to focus on his personal issues.