The Innovative Leadership (iLead) Series (formerly known as the Dean’s Innovative Leader Series or DILS) at MIT celebrates innovative individuals who make a difference in the world. These leaders operate at the leading edge and transform today’s organizations and communities by challenging common assumptions, and creating new structures, new business models, and new modes of organizing at all levels of the traditional structure. The MIT Leadership Center, in partnership with MIT Sloan School of Management, invite distinctive individuals to participate in The iLead Series who embody these qualities and who, in their actions, exhibit the best aspects of what it means to be a principled, innovative leader.
George Bodenheimer is an ESPN and cable industry pioneer and, as the company’s longest-tenured President (13 years, 1998-Dec. 31, 2011), he led an unprecedented period of global growth. He oversaw all multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company from March 3, 2003 – December 31, 2011 and was co-chairman, Disney Media Networks from April 20, 2004 – December 31, 2011. Bodenheimer served in the newly created position of Executive Chairman, ESPN, Inc. from 2012-2014.
Bodenheimer’s path to leadership mirrors that of ESPN itself – with his sharp focus on creativity and cutting-edge innovation, always enhancing value for sports fans and ESPN’s business partners, and his conviction for teamwork. He believes ESPN’s culture is the company’s strategic advantage. As President, he viewed his primary role as working hard to preserve and enhance that culture while emphasizing career development for all of ESPN’s people.