ESPN names Jimmy Pitaro new president

John Skipper unexpectedly stepped down from the position in December.

Jimmy Pitaro was tapped as president of ESPN on Monday, a position created after John Skipper's unexpected resignation late last year.

Disney, ESPN's parent company, touted Pitaro's new-media chops as its dominant sports network is set to launch a new streaming service, ESPN+, in the coming weeks. Pitaro, who will also hold the title of co-chair of Disney media networks, had served as chair of Disney consumer products and interactive media since 2016 and had previously been president of Disney interactive.

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“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,” Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, said in a statement. “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."

Pitaro takes over for Skipper, who abruptly resigned on Dec. 18 while citing a substance-addiction problem. Skipper had been with the company since 1997 and became president in 2012.