As Executive Chairman of ESPN, Inc., George Bodenheimer provides strategic direction for ESPN’s global business and chairs ESPN’s board of directors. He is an ESPN and cable industry pioneer and, as the company’s longest-tenured President (13 years, 1998-2012), he led an unprecedented period of global growth. He oversaw all multimedia sports assets of The Walt
Disney Company from 2003–2011, and was co-chairman, Disney Media Networks from 2004–2011. Mr. Bodenheimer’s contributions were integral to ESPN’s success. His vision led to company and industry-leading innovations in integrated sales and marketing, original programming, acquisitions, and new technologies.
As President, his leadership style was simple but effective: empower all employees to proactively take charge of their careers and to base decisions on the company’s stated mission: “Serve Sports Fans. Anytime. Anywhere.” He launched a company priority process that engaged all employees to drive business initiatives. His vision created a vibrant, innovative workplace.
Mr. Bodenheimer elevated the company’s numerous corporate outreach initiatives, most notably The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and the late NC State basketball coach and commentator, Jim Valvano. The V Foundation has raised more than $100 million since 1993 and 100% of cash donations go directly to research. Mr. Bodenheimer also championed an impressive increase in ESPN employee volunteerism during his tenure as President, highlighted by more than 30,000 hours of service given to those less fortunate as part of the company’s 30th anniversary efforts.
Mr. Bodenheimer’s leadership has been recognized throughout the industry. In April of 2005, he was recognized by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association with a Vanguard Award. In 2008, he was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame for his leadership, innovation, and contributions to the cable industry and his community. Throughout the years, he has been honored with many other prestigious industry awards.
Mr. Bodenheimer serves on the boards of NCTA (National Cable Telecommunications Association), Cable in the Classroom and the Cable Center, a Denver-based institution that educates and informs about the power of cable television. In 2010, he was named to the board of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.