By Vikram Sethi

The Walt Disney Company president and CEO Robert A. Iger has named George Bodenheimer executive chairman of ESPN, and John Skipper ESPN president and co-chair, Disney Media Networks, effective January 1, 2012.

Bodenheimer, currently President of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chair of Disney Media Networks, will relinquish his day-to-day operating responsibilities January 1.  As Executive chairman of ESPN, Bodenheimer will continue to chair ESPN’s Board, provide strategic direction and support a seamless transition to Skipper, who will assume day-to-day operating responsibilities January 1.  Skipper has served as ESPN’s executive vice president, content, since October 2005. Bodenheimer will continue to report to Iger.  Skipper will have a dual report to Iger and Bodenheimer.