ESPN announced on Monday afternoon that its next President will be James Pitaro.
This past December, then-ESPN President John Skipper announced his abrupt resignation – citing substance abuse issues. Monday, the network, after three months, named his official replacement.
James Pitaro, who was the chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media the past two years, will be taking the position. He’s being named the President of ESPN and Co-chair of Disney Media Networks.
ESPN announced the news in statement on its website. It includes a quote from Pitaro:
“As a passionate and lifelong sports fan, I am honored to be joining the ESPN team during such a pivotal time in its storied history,” Pitaro said in a news release issued by the Walt Disney Company, the parent of ESPN. “The appetite for quality sports content across platforms has never been greater, and I am looking forward to working with the talented ESPN team as we continue to redefine the future fan experience.”
ESPN reportedly also sent a memo to its staff, announcing the news.
Bodenheimer just sent an email to staff. Jimmy Pitaro is ESPN's next president.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) March 5, 2018
Disney Chairman Bob Iger commented on Pitaro’s hiring as well:
“Jimmy is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive and passion for sports required to lead the stellar ESPN team at this incredibly dynamic time,” Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said. “Jimmy forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking ESPN into the future.”
It’ll be interesting to see what changes Pitaro implements – and how quickly. The network faces a number of critical decisions in the coming months.