George Bodenheimer (ESPN at 30: The Evolution Continues)
An ESPN and cable industry pioneer, George Bodenheimer was named ESPN‟s fifth President in 1998, and since then he has led an unprecedented period of growth for ESPN. Bodenheimer‟s path to leadership mirrors that of ESPN itself – with his sharp focus on creativity and cutting-edge innovation, his emphasis on always enhancing value to ESPN‟s fans and business partners, and his conviction for teamwork. In 2003, he was also appointed President of ABC Sports, overseeing all the multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company, and in 2004 he assumed the role of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, encompassing strategic planning for Disney‟s media assets.
Bodenheimer’s vision has led to numerous company and industry- leading innovations in integral sales and marketing, original programming, rights and business acquisitions, and new technologies, highlighted by ESPN‟s state-of-the-art Digital Center. He established an organizational structure with leaders focusing on six areas: content across all media, technology, international, sales and marketing, finance and administration.
Bodenheimer joined the company after college in January 1981 as a driver in the mailroom. He rose through the ranks becoming Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing in 1996. He was graduated from Denison University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and he married with three children.
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