BRISTOL, CONN.—Aaron LaBerge has been named ESPN’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, just the second CTO in the company’s 35-year history.
Reporting to John Skipper, ESPN president and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, LaBerge is responsible for oversight, strategic leadership and direction of technology across all ESPN media and businesses. He also serves on The Walt Disney Co.’s CTO Council and the Disney Research Advisory Board.
LaBerge took over the leadership and operations of ESPN technology as the successor to Chuck Pagano. LaBerge is on his second stint at ESPN, having returned to ESPN in January 2013 as senior vice president of technology and product development after six years away as a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of Fanzter, Inc.
Over the last two years, LaBerge worked with Pagano and others as a key architect in the development and design of ESPN’s second Digital Center at its Bristol headquarters. The 194,000-square-foot is an IP-based facility designed to be “future-proof,” i.e., adaptable to the ever-changing technology landscape and capable of supporting any new and emerging media industry formats and standards. He has also led the technology design and development to support the launch of the SEC Network.
Throughout his ESPN career, LaBerge oversaw the technological development for many of its most ambitious and challenging projects—including the company’s pioneering work in online and mobile video technologies and digital streaming technology—and played a key role in establishing ESPN’s position as a leader in the digital media and new technology development.
LaBerge first joined ESPN in 1997 as a software engineer, through Disney’s acquisition of Starwave Ventures, the company that produced ESPN’s early Internet initiatives.
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