Skipper said his resignation was due to an extortion plot by a cocaine dealer.
Former ESPN president John Skipper, who resigned in December amid what he later said was an attempted extortion plot by a cocaine dealer, has been hired as Executive Chairman of a London-based sports media company called Perform Group.
Skipper, 62, worked at ESPN for 20 years—plus an additional seven years at Disney, the network’s parent company—and had been the company’s president since 2012. He resigned suddenly in December, citing substance abuse and went to rehab.
Skipper said that he would occasionally use cocaine but insisted it didn’t interfere with his work. He said he had never previously purchased drugs from the dealer who tried to extort him.
Perform Group owns a variety of sports media platforms, including Sporting News and the Goal.com soccer website. It also has a streaming platform called DAZN (pronounced “da zone”) that shows live games from the four major U.S. leagues and the biggest world soccer leagues in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan and Canada.
DAZN was met with negative reviews by NFL fans in Canada, though, and the company relinquished its exclusive rights to the Sunday Ticket package, which will be available on cable and satellite in 2018.