ESPN President's Memo: Support The Troops; Also, We're Firing People

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Below is a memo from ESPN president John Skipper, sent companywide just before the Memorial Day weekend and forwarded to us by a Bristol tipster. "This is the only communication we've received from upper management this week that mentions the layoffs," our tipster writes. Happy Memorial Day!

Skipper writes:

Dear Colleagues,

As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, I hope that you will take time to remember those who have given so much in service to our country. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to our nation's veterans and to our ESPN colleagues who are currently serving on active or reserve duty and to their families who support them.

As we all know our business doesn't take a holiday, which means many of our colleagues will be working over the long weekend. To those of you who will be here serving sports fans, I express my deepest thanks and appreciation.

I also want to acknowledge our restructuring and the impact of that on some of our colleagues. Any decision to reduce staff is not an easy one nor is it something we take lightly. We have taken steps to ensure affected employees are treated with respect and appreciation for the contributions they have made to this company. Through notice, severance, advice on other job opportunities in the company and continuing contact with HR, we are working to support their transition forward. We, of course, remain focused on future growth for ESPN and will continue our work with all of you to achieve that. We ask anyone with questions or concerns to please talk with your HR business partner or manager.

Thank you.


Well, actually there was another note. On Tuesday, eight minutes after we posted our story confirming that layoffs were coming to ESPN, Skipper posted the below on the company's intranet.


Company Changes

Posted by John Skipper on May 21, 11:45:45 AM

We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.

In consideration of our people, this is the only information that will be shared in this forum. For further questions, please contact your HR business partner or department head.


As a source told me, the first day of layoffs "was like attending a funeral. The folks that were not let go are extremely pissed about two things 1) They learned about this from Deadspin 2) HR always talk about employees being their most important asset and this is how they treat their most loyal employees."

Two of those employees said as much in the comments section below Skipper's memo:

Comments (3)

Maria Aponte May 21, 2013 12:55 PM


Christi Thomas May 23, 2013 9:58 AM

What does this mean? It's very cryptic!! Just kind of makes you go HMMMMM.......what's going on?

Maria Aponte May 23, 2013 10:31 AM (in response to Christi Thomas)


I think what it means is that everyone on the lower level should have their desk clean, just in case they escort you out of the property. I think common courtesy of 2 week notice to those affected should had been fair, but that is just my opinion

I'm told that the next round of layoffs—coming to production—are set to begin in about two weeks. Know more? Email me: