James Pitaro has been appointed president of ESPN and co-chair, Disney Media Networks.
He has served as chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media since 2016 and will report directly to Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.
Commenting on the appointment, Iger said: “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.
“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. I also want to extend my utmost thanks to George Bodenheimer for serving as acting chair of ESPN these past few months; he is a true industry pioneer and helped make ESPN the undisputed leader in sports.”
Pitaro said: “As a passionate and lifelong sports fan, I am honoured to be joining the ESPN team during such a pivotal time in its storied history.
“The appetite for quality sports content across platforms has never been greater, and I am looking forward to working with the talented ESPN team as we continue to redefine the future fan experience”.
Pitaro’s appointment is effective immediately, and new leadership for Disney’s consumer products and interactive businesses will be named at a later date.
Pitaro previously served as president, Disney Interactive. Prior to his roles at Disney, he was VP and head of Yahoo Media. Earlier in his career, he was VP of business affairs for Launch Media, Inc. and practiced law at several New York firms.