Erika Ayers Badan, the CEO of Barstool Sports, announced her resignation on January 16, ending her seven-year tenure with the company. Badan joined Barstool in 2016, while it was owned by the Chernin Group, and played a crucial role in navigating the company through challenges. In her farewell message, she reflected on the recent years dominated by Penn Entertainment’s control, describing it as a “balancing act” and an “exercise in futility”, according to Variety.
The company changed ownership twice within a year, first selling to Penn Entertainment for $550 million and then back to Portnoy for a nominal fee. In her note, Ayers Badan expressed her initial liking and trust in working with Dave. She emphasized that there was no one better than Dave to ensure Barstool’s lasting success in the future.
Barstool Sports, known for its controversial approach to sports journalism, experienced significant growth under Badan’s leadership, with revenue increasing by 5000% during her tenure. However, her time as CEO was not without controversy. Barstool Sports faced criticism for its history of sexist language and objectification of women, and the company’s sports betting business under Penn Entertainment’s ownership did not perform as expected.
In response to Badan’s departure, Portnoy expressed gratitude for her contribution on social media, stating that she was the perfect fit for the company and played a crucial role in its success. As Barstool Sports enters a new era without Badan at the helm, the industry watches closely to see how Portnoy leads the company. Badan has chosen to remain silent about her future plans, mentioning that she is still figuring out what she wants to do next.
The departure of Badan marks the beginning of a new chapter for both the CEO and the iconic media company she helped shape.