Then: Worked the mailroom at ESPN (DIS) Now: Executive chairman of ESPN
How: Launching his career as a driver in the mailroom just 16 months after ESPN was first born, Bodenheimer has had a long career at the network. To learn the ropes, he took jobs in the affiliate sales and marketing departments in different cities, including Chicago, Dallas, and New York. He was named to his latest role as executive chairman at the start of 2012, and his job description includes providing strategic direction for ESPN’s global business and serving as chairman of the network. His earlier positions have included overseeing all multimedia sports assets of ESPN parent Walt Disney and being co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. Bodenheimer is credited with creating unprecedented growth at ESPN, including expanding from four domestic television networks to eight, from 20 international TV networks to 48, and from 1,900 employees to 7,000, according to Disney. In 2008, Bodenheimer was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame for his leadership and innovation.