Erika Ayers Badan Barstool Credit: ABC

A major change is coming to Barstool Sports, with the New York Post reporting that CEO Erika Ayers Badan is set to leave the company. Ayers Badan took to social media on Tuesday morning to confirm the news in a video posted to her X (formerly Twitter) account.


Ayers Badan (formerly Nardini) has served as Barstool’s top executive since 2016, joining the company shortly after it was purchased by The Chernin Group. As the company continued to grow and expand under her watch, it was then purchased by Penn Entertainment in a sales process that first began in 2020 and was completed in February 2023.

In August 2023, Penn sold Barstool back to founder Dave Portnoy for $1, with the sportsbook operator dropping its Barstool branding after reaching a deal with ESPN. Since re-purchasing the company, Portnoy has been open about the financial challenges that Barstool faces, which resulted in a round of layoffs in late-August.

It will be interesting to see where Barstool goes from here and how it goes about filling the void left by Ayers Badan. Publicly, Ayers Badan often served as the more polished and professional face of Barstool, in contrast to the brash and bombastic Portnoy. It’s also worth noting that Ayers Badan was the company’s first CEO and was hired after Portnoy first sold Barstool to Chernin.

Additionally, the 48-year-old Ayers Badan’s next move will be worth keeping an eye on. While she was an accomplished digital media executive prior to her time at Barstool, with stints at Microsoft, Yahoo, Demand Media and AOL, her seven-plus year stint at the company raised her profile, as in addition to her duties as CEO, she also maintained a regular presence on Barstool shows and podcasts.

Ayers Badan currently serves as a board member of the

[New York Post]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.