Erika Ayers Badan announced on Tuesday that she is stepping down from her role as CEO of Barstool Sports. Ayers Badan (formerly Nardini) has been at the helm of the fratty media company since 2016. In a video posted to X, she said she was feeling “super-sad” about leaving.
Over the past year, Barstool has been sold twice. First, casino company Penn Entertainment became the owner in February 2023, spending a total of $550 million over three years to buy it up. Then, in August, it sold the company back to founder Dave Portnoy for $1. At the time, Portnoy said his company had “underestimated just how tough it is for myself and Barstool to operate in a regulated world, where gambling regulators, the New York Times, Business Insider hit pieces, were fucking with the stock price. Every time we did something it was one step forward, two steps back.”
In a letter to the Barstool staff obtained by Variety, Ayers Badan noted that selling the company twice in one year “seems insane and it was.” She did not mention whether the company’s ups and downs had anything to do with her resignation but did say Barstool is “back as it should be … a pirate ship with Dave at the helm.”
Portnoy had only kind words for his former CEO in a post on X, writing that she “was the perfect and probably only fit for us. It’s been quite a run and we couldn’t have done it without her. She was everything I dreamed she’d be and more in a CEO.”
Ayers Badan did not say what was next for her but said she was “going to go try to figure out what I want to go build and do next.”