Disney’s Aaron LaBerge to step down, join Penn Entertainment as CTO

By Thomson Reuters Apr 22, 2024 | 2:58 PM

(Reuters) – Disney Entertainment and ESPN Chief Technology Officer Aaron LaBerge would step down from the position and join gaming and sports media firm Penn Entertainment, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Monday.

LaBerge, who has spent more than 20 years at Walt Disney Co, will assume a similar role at Penn, effective July 1.

“This was a personal decision, driven by the needs of my family,” according to his letter attached with the memo.

Walt Disney’s ESPN and Penn had agreed in August last year to jointly launch a sports betting business under the brand ESPN BET.

“I plan to use my experience from Disney and ESPN to help make ESPN BET an essential piece of the sports fan experience,” LaBerge was quoted as saying in a separate press release from Penn.

According to the memo, Chris Lawson, EVP content platforms and operations at Disney Entertainment and ESPN, would serve as the interim tech executive while the company looks for a permanent replacement for LaBerge.

(Reporting by Priyanka.G in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)