John Skipper, the former president of ESPN who suddenly left that company last year, now has a new job as executive chairman of streaming sports production company Perform Group.
Skipper will be based in New York and will oversee Perform’s operations and strategy. He’ll report to Perform’s board, and Simon Denyer will continue to serve as the company’s CEO.
"Simon and his team have built an enormously impressive company, providing an excellent base to establish a global leadership position in the over-the-top sports subscription business, the clear future of sports delivery," Skipper said in a statement. "Perform Group's platform and expertise, coupled with its success in launching subscription services in Germany, Japan and Canada provides a model we intend to replicate around the world."
"Perform is rapidly expanding its role in sports media with significant investments in the best content and our own platform. We are now preparing to push forward with the expansion of DAZN, our live and on-demand streaming service, in more major markets around the world," Denyer said in a statement. "DAZN is revolutionizing how fans watch their favorite sports. John is one of the most significant leaders in the history of our industry, and I am delighted that he has agreed to join me and the team to help take Perform to the next level of our ambitions."
Perform streams sports directly to fans through its VOD platform DAZN and also partners with sports leagues including WTA, NFL, FIBA and CONMEBOL to grow their brands. The company also runs platforms including Goal.com and SportingNews.com.
Skipper abruptly announced his departure from ESPN in December 2017, only one month after ESPN parent company Disney announced that it had extended Skipper’s employment contract through 2021. At the time, Skipper said that he was leaving to address a substance abuse issue.
In an interview earlier this year, Skipper revealed that he left ESPN after a person from whom he bought cocaine threatened to extort him.
In March, ESPN named James Pitaro as the new president of ESPN and co-chair of Disney Media Network.