Colleagues of long-time ESPN Executive Vice President Ed Durso crowded into the Bristol Café Conference Room this afternoon for an emotional retirement send-off and celebration of three decades of impactful leadership.
Durso was introduced by long-time Communications executive Chris LaPlaca who described Durso’s “iconic career” as “unparalleled in the history of this company. There hasn’t been another executive who has impacted ESPN in so many ways, across so many years, across so many people as Ed.”
A “go-to” executive for four ESPN presidents and countless others throughout the company, Durso oversaw a wide range of ESPN responsibilities from Communications, Legal, Human Resources, Corporate Citizenship, Security and Facilities.
A Harvard grad who played shortstop for the last Ivy League team to play in the College World Series – the Crimson went in 1973 and 1974 – Ed came to ESPN’s attention during his decade as an attorney and Chief Operating Officer for Major League Baseball. ESPN president Roger Werner and future president Steve Bornstein were impressed with Durso’s smarts and business savvy and hired him in 1989.
True to form, Durso spent most of his 13-minute talk praising his colleagues and the impact they made on him and ESPN.
One of Ed’s numerous accomplishments was overseeing the construction of ESPN’s sprawling Bristol campus. Chief Counsel Diane Morse wrapped up the celebration presenting Ed with a framed photo of the campus he built, signed by fellow ESPNers who hold him in the highest esteem.
ESPN President John Skipper pays tribute to Durso in the video below.
Melissa Rawlins photographed the luncheon.
Samantha Baron and Jon McLeod produced the video.
Sports Business Journal interviewed Durso. Listen to the podcast below.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 12, 2017