ESPN President John Skipper resigns citing substance abuse issue

ESPN President John Skipper announced Monday he is resigning from the network due to a substance addiction problem.

"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.

Skipper said he and the company have "mutually agreed" it was appropriate for him to resign.

"I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down," Skipper's statement continued. "As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding."

Walt Disney CEO, Bob Iger, announced former ESPN President George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chair for the next 90 days, until they find a full-time replacement for Skipper.

Skipper joined the Disney-owned network in 1997. He became president of ESPN in 2012.

Skipper's exit comes after a rocky year for the sports network.

Just last week, a bombshell report described ESPN's culture as one of hostility and sexual misconduct toward women.

The report by The Boston Globe specifically named several men employed by or affiliated with ESPN as being subjects of harassment complaints.

Interviews conducted by the Globe with roughly two dozen current and former employees portrayed a “locker room culture,” where men regularly made unwanted sexual advances to female colleagues, gave unsolicited shoulder rubs and rated women based on their looks. 

The network laid off 150 employees in November, just months after letting go 100 employees in April, including several veterans like Ed Werder, Trent Dilfer and Danny Kanell.

ESPN came under fire in August after they pulled an announcer from a college football game named Robert Lee because his name is similar to that of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The network also faced heat after suspending Jemele Hill in October after she violated the company's social media guidelines twice for calling on Twitter for people to boycott advertisers over the NFL protests and for calling President Trump a "white supremacist."

ESPN also cancelled "Barstool Van Talk" in October after one episode amid outcry over the Barstool's brand's commentary on women.

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.