George Bodenheimer is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in media and sports, starting out as a driver in the ESPN mailroom before becoming the longest-tenured president in company history and, eventually, executive chairman of the world’s most visible sports network.
Bodenheimer oversaw all multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company, including ABC Sports, from 2003-2011 and also served as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks from 2004-2011.
A cable industry pioneer, Bodenheimer’s sharp focus on creativity, cutting-edge innovation and a culture that puts people at the center of its mission helped ESPN achieve unprecedented growth and success. Bodenheimer also put an emphasis on always enhancing value for ESPN’s fans and business partners.
Since stepping down from ESPN in 2014, Bodenheimer has remained actively engaged with dynamic and big-thinking businesses, including serving on the boards of both Under Armour and Sirius XM. He also is a coveted speaker, drawing on the leadership insights he learned over more than three decades at ESPN. With a mix of humor and straight talk, Bodenheimer relates how he helped grow the network in a hyper-competitive business environment and shares with audiences how to emulate the same inventiveness that has enhanced ESPN’s value over the years.
Bodenheimer has written a memoir entitled, “Every Town is a Sports Town: Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom,” a book that chronicles ESPN’s meteoric rise and the culture that fostered that success. Additionally, he’s helped teach a course titled “Leadership and Management in Sports, Entertainment & Media” at Iona College in New York.
A member of both the Cable Television and Sports Broadcasting Halls of Fame, Bodenheimer is a graduate of Denison University (economics) and is married with three children.