Current and former ESPN employees react to the news of John Skipper's resignation.
ESPN President John Skipper has resigned from his position because of substance addiction issues, the company announced in a statement.
“I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction,” Skipper said in a statement. “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,” he added. “I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down.”
Last month, it was reported that Skipper was nearing a contract extension that would have kept him with ESPN through 2021. Skipper has worked with ESPN since 1997 and was named president in 2012.
Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch reports that many of the ESPN staffers that he has spoken to has no idea that Skipper's resignation was coming.
Here are some of the tweets from current and former ESPN employees on Monday morning:
John Skipper is one of the finest people I’ve ever worked for. He’s been incredibly supportive throughout my career at ESPN. This isn’t company-speak. I seriously cannot express how much respect I have for him.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 18, 2017
(1) Shocked and saddened by today's John Skipper news. He was always so warm and welcoming. While the competition pivots to video, he continued to invest in longform storytelling and elite journalism. One personal Skipper story I'd like to share ...— Wayne Drehs (@espnWD) December 18, 2017
(2) A few hours after my open heart surgery last November, when I was still in intensive care, just starting to breathe again on my own, my cell phone rang. I looked down and saw an ESPN number. I said to myself "who the hell is calling me from work now?" It was Skipper.— Wayne Drehs (@espnWD) December 18, 2017
(3) He wanted to check in and see how I was doing. Then he insisted that I not waste a single second worrying about my work or my job. He told me take as long as I needed to recover. "Days, weeks, months, whatever that is," Skipper said. "Don't come back until you're ready."— Wayne Drehs (@espnWD) December 18, 2017
(4) Then he added, "But realize that whenever that day is, you need to come back ready to work your butt off. We're going to need you." His words stuck with me throughout my rehab and recovery. A huge boost to know John & the company were behind me. Will never forget that.— Wayne Drehs (@espnWD) December 18, 2017
John Skipper's commitment to diversity & inclusion at ESPN has been not only inspiring, but comforting to those of us who want to believe things are headed in the right direction. Deeply saddened to hear of his resignation.— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) December 18, 2017
For 19 years, I worked for Hearst without hearing anything, even once, from the executives above my editor David Granger. But I never wrote a story of any consequence for @espn w/o John Skipper writing or calling to talk about it. That's who, and how, he was.— Tom Junod (@TomJunod) December 18, 2017
Saddened to read about Skipper. Praying for healing and peace for him and his family.— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) December 18, 2017
So saddened to hear of John Skipper's resignation. He has been wonderful to me. All the best to you John in getting healthy— Jeannine Edwards (@jeanninee12) December 18, 2017
This is devastating news about John Skipper. I enjoyed working with him as much as anybody I’ve ever known and our friendship has continued. He’s been innovative and broadminded and I’m literally shaking learning he was in such place. I pray he gets the help and healing he needs.— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) December 18, 2017
🙌🏿 We wouldn't be here without John Skipper.— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) December 18, 2017
Our thoughts, support and a piece of our hearts are with him.
“I join John Skipper’s many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in ESPN's statement. “I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family.”