James Pitaro was appointed as President of ESPN in March 2018. With a background forged at the intersection of technology, sports and media, he is currently spearheading the broadcaster’s efforts in adapting to a disruptive digital world.
Pitaro, a digital veteran at Disney, was named ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks in March 2018. Pitaro’s eight-year career at Disney had seen him focus on consumer products and he was selected for the top job at a pivotal point in the company’s 38-year history: a time of unprecedented technological advancement and rapidly changing consumer habits.
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He came to Disney from Yahoo, where he rose to the position of Head of Media, setting strategy and executing growth driving initiatives for Yahoo’s media properties, including Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Music. In 2009, he was named to Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” annual list of top achievers in sports for his dynamic leadership and ‘breathless flurry of market-moving pacts’ with major sports rights holders and media companies.
In this short interview, recorded backstage at Leaders Week New York in May, Pitaro explains why he sees himself as the right man for the job, offers his perspective on the launch of the platform’s OTT multi-sports streaming service, ESPN+, reveals his vision for the network, and shares his philosophy for navigating through a disruptive media environment.
Leaders Week New York
20 - 23 May 2019