Deadline understands that Geist, who is Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content, will work through to the end of 2020. It is understood that her departure is not connected to the recent layoffs introduced by the company and that she is leaving to move closer to production.
She is the latest top-level exec set to leave ESPN and comes after it emerged that content chief Connor Schell is leaving the company in the new year to set up his own production company.
Geist has been with ESPN for 12 years in a variety of roles. She has worked on more than 120 feature-length projects in various capacities and has overseen the docs department since 2016.
She has overseen development, production, distribution, branding and strategy of all projects under the ESPN Films umbrella, as well as original series and studio shows on ESPN+, ESPN’s direct-to-consumer streaming service.
These include Michael Jordan docuseries The Last Dance, Lance Armstrong doc Lance as well as 30 for 30s including Long Gone Summer, Infinite Race and podcast series Heavy Medals.
Other projects she has shepherded include Detail with Kobe Bryant and worked on O.J.: Made in America, which won the 2017 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
This year, she has worked with directors including Stanley Nelson, Bao Nguyen, Marina Zenovich, AJ Schnack, John Battsek, Daniel Gordon and Bernardo Ruiz.
Prior to joining ESPN, Geist’s first production job was at Shoot the Moon Productions under director Dan Klores, where she worked from 2003-2008. She worked on documentaries including the four-hour basketball series Black Magic, which aired on ESPN in 2008, and Crazy Love.