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ESPN president resigns, citing 'substance addiction'

John Skipper on Dec. 18 resigned as president of ESPN Inc. and co-chairman of Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Media Networks due to "substance addiction."

George Bodenheimer, ESPN's president from 1998 to 2011 and its executive chairman until May 2014, will serve as acting chairman of the company for the next 90 days to help Disney find a replacement for Skipper, according to a Dec. 18 post on ESPN.com.

Skipper joined ESPN in 1997 as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. Skipper assumed his current position on Jan. 1, 2012.

"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," Skipper said in a statement. "I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign," he said.

In a statement, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said "I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family. With his departure, George Bodenheimer has agreed to serve as Acting Chair of ESPN for the next 90 days to provide interim leadership, help me identify and secure John's successor, and ensure a smooth transition. I am grateful for George's support and look forward to working with him again in this temporary role."