Major League Baseball pushed out the architect of its digital media business following reports of troubling workplace behavior, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Bob Bowman, the longtime head of MLB Advanced Media who is credited with shepherding the league’s revolutionary live-streaming platform, announced his departure in November, months after the Walt Disney Co. acquired a majority stake in the league’s technology spinoff, BAMTech.
Following Bowman’s departure, reports surfaced of an alleged pattern of behavior that included propositioning female colleagues, having affairs with subordinates, and cultivating a heavy-drinking, partying culture, the Journal reports. It quoted two anonymous sources who attended a party hosted by Advanced Media in San Diego, during the week of the All-Star Game in July 2016, in which female escorts allegedly were hired to “entertain” attendees.
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the publication he had no knowledge of the alleged female escorts.
Bowman was described as brilliant but mercurial; he reportedly shoved one executive for the group that owns the Boston Red Sox and verbally abused a co-worker. BAM employees raised concerns about Bowman’s behavior at least a decade ago, the Journal reported, but the executive remained at the helm of Advanced Media as the company grew increasingly valuable for team owners.
Neither Disney nor the league responded to Deadline’s requests for comment. Bowman released a statement to the Journal, acknowledging “personal flaws” and apologizing for his conduct.
“The culture that started at BAM was hard working and driven. At times, it was also inappropriate and I take full responsibility,” Bowman said in the statement. “This inappropriate behavior reflects my personal flaws and not someone else’s. This behavior and my personal behavior were wrong. To those who felt the sting of my behavior, I am truly sorry. To my family, friends and business colleagues who have been steadfastly supportive of me, and whom I have embarrassed, I apologize.”
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