President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports > Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks
Since George Bodenheimer became ESPN’s fifth president in 1998, he has led the company to unprecedented growth. 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 for ESPN’s fans and business partners and his belief in teamwork.
As president of ESPN, Inc., Bodenheimer leads one of the world’s premier brands with more than 50 business entities, including 6 domestic television networks; 33 international television networks; ESPN and ESPN2 HD simulcast services in high-definition; ESPN Regional Television; ESPN.com; ESPN Radio; ESPN The Magazine and books; the ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants); and other growing new businesses including ESPN360 (broadband), Mobile ESPN (wireless), ESPN Interactive, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Pay-Per-View.
In 2003, he was appointed president of ABC Sports, overseeing all of the multimedia sports assets of the Walt Disney Company. In April 2004, the role of Disney Media Networks’ co-chairman was added to Bodenheimer’s responsibilities, encompassing strategic planning for Disney’s media assets.
As president of ABC Sports, Bodenheimer oversees one of the broadcast industry’s most comprehensive sports programming schedules, which is now branded “ESPN on ABC.” The network’s premier sports programming includes the NBA Finals, college football, college basketball, World Cup soccer, the British Open, the Belmont Stakes, the Little League World Series, the IndyCar Series and NASCAR.
Bodenheimer’s vision has led to numerous company and industry-leading innovations in integrated sales and marketing, original programming, rights and business acquisitions, and new technologies such as ESPN’s state-of-the-art Digital Center. He established an organizational structure that focuses on six areas: content across all media, technology, international, sales and marketing, finance and administration.
Bodenheimer joined ESPN in January 1981 as a driver in the mailroom. He became executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1996. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Denison in 1980.