Lifelong ESPN executive Mike Sotlys was let go early on Monday morning.
Soltys was the second-longest tenured member of the company, currently serving as VP of Corporate Communications, as a casualty in the second round of layoffs.
Needless to say, this news was met with sadness all over social media, with dozens of fans taking to Twitter to show their love and respect for him.
Unbelievable. He is an incredible professional and wonderful person.
— Jackie Majerus (@JackieMajerus) April 24, 2023
Good luck, Mike. You've always been a class act and a "culture carrier" at ESPN.
— Bruce B (@PureHoopsBruce) April 24, 2023
What a run! Back in 2007 I attended a NASCAR race with Mike, @PaulM_PR & others from LaPlaca’s team. Mike was the clear leader of the group. Everyone followed his lead right down to how to dress (no jeans!) and how to behave as representatives of ESPN. He set a standard for sure
— T M (@reshmanuel) April 24, 2023
… who is the longest tenured employee? I am shocked there’s anyone left from essentially the founding era.
— @[email protected] (@soonermedic72) April 24, 2023
Of all the salaries they can’t afford, it’s this guy they let go? Seems weird that wouldn’t just bridge him to retirement instead.
— Llano Estacado (@WestTxWinds) April 24, 2023
Soltys will work at the company until the end of June after 43 years with ESPN, being perhaps the most renowned member of the company to be shown the door.
He had been a part of the company since 1980, joining as an unpaid intern and climbing his way up the corporative ladder with his charisma and work ethic.
He had become a mainstay and a huge part of the network’s communication strategy.
Soltys is also known for his role with the food organization Bread of Life, as well as Youth Journalism International and the University of Connecticut.
He also served on the board of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, the Bristol Family Center, and the sports information/marketing advisory board for the University of Hartford, so he’s not going to have trouble finding a new opportunity if he decides to keep working.
While surprising, Disney CEO Bob Iger did acknowledge that the company intended to cut down its payroll and workforce by roughly 7,000 workers.
Disney suffered the most in the first way of layoff, and ESPN is up next.
The amount of potential workers being let go hasn’t been disclosed, but Sports Business Journal reports that a third wave will most likely take place during the summer, mostly focusing on on-air talent.NEXT: Fans React To Today's Big WNBA News