After more than twenty years at Disney, Aaron LaBerge, who is the President & Chief Technology Officer for Disney Entertainment and ESPN, is leaving the company to become the new Chief Technology Officer at Penn Entertainment, which is behind the ESPN Bet app.

While working at Disney, Aaron was responsible for driving all technology and product development in support of The Walt Disney Company’s two media divisions. In that role, he helped set the vision and strategic leadership for how Disney uses technology to enable storytelling and innovation, drive its business, and create unparalleled consumer experiences with entertainment and sports content.

As part of his role, he oversaw the integration of Hulu into Disney+ and the launch of ESPN+.  Aaron will stay at Disney until the end of June and will take over as CTO at PENN on July 1st, 2024.  

In his new role at PENN, Mr. LaBerge will be responsible for driving the technology strategy and execution for PENN, while leading the multinational team of technologists and serving as the key business leader for the company’s Interactive division.

PENN’s CEO Mr. Snowden said in a statement:

“We are thrilled to have someone of Aaron’s caliber join our PENN executive team.  Having overseen a global organization of thousands of engineers, product developers, designers, technologists, and data scientists that created some of the largest scale and most successful media properties in the world, there is no better candidate to lead our Technology and Interactive division into its future. I know Aaron is looking forward to working with Todd George, our head of operations, and our entire Executive Team to continue growing our position as a leader in online gaming, sports betting, and digital sports media.”

Aaron LaBerge added in an official statement:

“I’m excited to join another talented team at PENN Interactive and lead our technology strategy.  PENN Entertainment is at the forefront of the fast-changing gaming and sports media industry. I plan to use my experience from Disney and ESPN to help make ESPN BET an essential piece of the sports fan experience. Together, we’ll push the limits and redefine how fans interact with sports and gaming.”

And he also sent a message to Disney cast members saying:


I wanted to share some personal news: this summer, after more than 20 incredible years, I’ve decided to leave The Walt Disney Company.

This was a personal decision, driven by the needs of my family. I’m working with Alan, Dana, and Jimmy to plan a smooth transition, and I’ll be here until the end of June to help ensure a seamless handoff that positions everyone for continued success.

I’ve never been more confident in our team and leadership. Together, we’ll navigate this change without missing a beat, continuing to build on the significant progress we’ve made over the past 15 months.

Chris Lawson will be working closely with me in the coming months, stepping into an interim leadership role upon my departure until a permanent leader is in place. Many of you know Chris as an exceptional technology leader with a deep understanding of our operations and businesses. He has been instrumental in our technology transformation and is a trusted partner to our business leaders.

My journey with Disney doesn’t end here. I’ll be joining the extended family at PENN Entertainment, working with Disney and ESPN on ESPN BET. This new role is exciting because I’ll get to continue to contribute to our company’s success from a new vantage point, while also being home for my family.

Disney is more than just a company to me; it’s been my home, my inspiration, and a part of the most rewarding chapters of my life, both personally and professionally. The true magic of Disney isn’t just in our stories or our technology but in each of you. Your passion, creativity, and brilliance have made my journey unforgettable.

Over the coming weeks, we will share more details about this transition and the way forward. Until then, let’s stay focused on the future and continue to build, innovate, and deliver.

All my best,

Prior to his most recent role at the Walt Disney Company, Mr. LaBerge was Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at ESPN from 2015 to 2018. At ESPN he played an instrumental role in the growth of ESPN’s consumer-facing digital media products and services – leading many of ESPN’s most ambitious and challenging projects and helping establish ESPN’s position as the leader in digital sports and innovative sports technology development. He was a key architect in the design, development, and engineering of ESPN’s state-of-the-art facilities in Bristol, CT; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; and Austin, TX, as well as data centers and infrastructure that connect those facilities around the world, as well as the technology design and development to support the launch of the multi-platform SEC Network.

Between 2007 and 2012, LaBerge was co-founder and CEO of Fanzter, Inc. – a venture-funded consumer software and digital product development company. At Fanzter, he directed all day-to-day operations and led the development and launch of a variety of consumer-focused internet and mobile products, ground-breaking social and commerce technologies and more.

A passionate engineer, technologist, innovator, and an avid sports fan, LaBerge is a native of Charleston, S.C. and earned his degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of South Carolina.

Disney’s executives Dana Walden, Alan Bergman and Jimmy Pitaro also issued a statement to cast members about the change.

We wanted to share the news below about Aaron LaBerge leaving Disney in June. As Aaron explained, this was a personal decision — one that we have discussed with him and understand and support him in making.

We want to thank Aaron for the contributions he has made and the leadership he has provided at Disney over his 20 years. It is a silver lining that he will continue to help Disney and ESPN win, as he transitions to a role at PENN Entertainment — where he will be a key partner in the continued growth and success of ESPN BET (and the rest of their Interactive business).

As Aaron noted, we have an incredibly talented team, and our work to identify the permanent Technology leadership is already underway, with Chris Lawson assuming interim oversight. Chris is a fantastic leader who will ensure that we maintain our momentum building on the great strides already made. We look forward to working with Aaron and Chris during this transition as we continue to focus on a bright future for our media businesses.

Alan, Dana, and Jimmy


With the recent launch of Hulu On Disney+ now complete and the launch of the new ESPN app over a year away, it might be a good time for the change, but just as important, is that he is jumping over to a company that is still intertwined with ESPN, so his knowledge and relationships will be a major advantage for both Disney and PENN.

What do you think of this change?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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