Cocaine & sports addict leaves ESPN for new network

Steve’s breakdown: Perform Group has 5 offices in the USA and now an ex-president of ESPN. We believe this global sports network is going to start up on some global marketing right about now so give Skipper a ring. +44 (0)20 3372 0600

FELTHAM, UK & NEW YORK, NY: Former ESPN president John Skipper is back in the sports media game after a stunning exit from The Walt Disney Company last December. (Adweek)

Skipper, who abruptly resigned his position as president of ESPN, citing “substance addiction,” is joining U.K.-based sports media company Perform Group as executive chairman. (THR)

Skipper will oversee the company’s operations and strategy as it seeks to expand its streaming, rights management and content activities. He will report to the board of directors at the company controlled by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. (Variety)

In a March interview, Skipper admitted to ESPN observer Jim Miller that he had been a longtime yet casual user of cocaine and said he decided to resign after a person who had sold him the drug threatened to extort him in December. Skipper added that he had been going through therapy and treatment since his departure from ESPN and had not used the drug “for a long period of time.” (WaPo)

Based in New York, Skipper becomes Executive Chairman of the company and will help bolster its global expansion. Perform Group operates a number of digital sports brands across the world as well as data business Opta. (Deadline)

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