The man who drove an increased presence for domestic and international soccer on ESPN will take over as its president.
The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ESPN and its affiliated platforms, has named John Skipper to succeed George Bodenheimer, effective Jan. 1. Bodenheimer will become executive chairman of ESPN.
Bodenheimer, 53, will relinquish day-to-day duties as ESPN's president and co-chair of Disney Media Networks on Jan. 1, 2012, the same day Skipper will take over those duties. Skipper, 55, joined the organization in 1997 as general manager of ESPN The Magazine and was named executive vice president in charge of content, his current position, in 2005.
At Skipper's behest, ESPN increased its investment in MLS, the English Premier League and U.S. Soccer events, as well as international properties such as the World Cup, Women's World Cup and European Championships. He also steered the company into new ventures, including ESPN Films and its documentary series, 30 For 30.
He will oversee a new phase during which ESPN will bid for other major properties such as the Olympic Games.