CTO of Disney Departs, Joins Penn Entertainment in Similar Role

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Aaron LaBerge, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Disney Entertainment and ESPN is set to depart from his position to join gaming and sports media firm Penn Entertainment (PENN.O). LaBerge, who has dedicated over 20 years to Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N), will assume a comparable role at Penn Entertainment, effective July 1.

“This was a personal decision, driven by the needs of my family,” LaBerge stated in his letter attached to the memo, explaining his departure from Disney.

Last August, Walt Disney’s ESPN and Penn Entertainment had announced a collaboration to launch a sports betting venture named ESPN BET. LaBerge expressed his intention to leverage his extensive experience from Disney and ESPN to elevate ESPN BET, aiming to make it an integral part of the sports fan experience.

Chris Lawson, the Executive Vice President of Content Platforms and Operations at Disney Entertainment and ESPN, will take on the role of interim tech executive during the transition period while the company searches for a permanent successor to LaBerge.

LaBerge’s move to Penn Entertainment underscores the increasing convergence of the media, gaming, and sports betting industries, highlighting the strategic importance of technology leadership in navigating this evolving landscape. His transition signifies a significant shift in Penn Entertainment’s strategy as the company aims to strengthen its digital capabilities and expand its presence in the sports media and gaming sectors.