NEW YORK – ESPN Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Christine Driessen was celebrated Monday by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) as its Woman of the Year, the organization’s highest distinction.
ESPN President John Skipper introduced Driessen and cited her “intellect, business knowledge and integrity” among other qualities.
“Christine is one of the most powerful executives in sports and entertainment, shaping the viewing habits of literally millions of sports fans around the world,” Skipper said. “But her real power stems from her code of conduct, her moral compass, and the set of values she embraces to ensure that she is an exceptional role model for so many women and men at ESPN.”
espnW Vice President Laura Gentile said, “Christine stands tall as a forceful champion for women in sports. She’s become a mentor to many of us. Somebody we can rely on, somebody we can share our personal and professional challenges and she’ll give us an honest perspective. She’s been there. She’s walked in our shoes and can help us forge our own path. But overall, Christine’s greatest gift is that of a role model. She encourages us to speak up, to take risks, to ask the tough questions, things she’s done her entire career.”
Driessen currently oversees worldwide financial operations for the company, which she joined in 1985. She has influenced ESPN’s unprecedented growth over the last 29 years through her strategic role as financial counsel during every rights negotiation and every affiliate deal, both here domestically and internationally.
She was recognized for her significant contributions throughout her career to ESPN and the overall cable telecommunications industry.
Driessen played a large part in launching espnW, ESPN’s first dedicated content and digital business initiative designed to serve and inspire female athletes and fans. She was instrumental in the award-winning Global Sports Mentorship Program – a joint ESPN and U.S. Department of State initiative created to sustain sports opportunities for under-served women and girls worldwide.
Driessen also founded ESPN’s Executive Women’s Forum, a group dedicated to helping women executives succeed in business and at ESPN. Her efforts were also recently recognized by The Walt Disney Company when she was asked to sit on the company’s diversity council representing ESPN.