(Bloomberg) -- Aaron LaBerge, the chief technology officer at Walt Disney Co.’s entertainment and sports networks, is leaving for the same job at Penn Entertainment Inc., operator of the ESPN Bet sportsbook.

LaBerge, a 20-year Disney veteran, will be responsible for technology strategy at Penn’s interactive division, the casino and online gaming company said Monday. The appointment is effective July 1. 

Penn is looking to close in on sportsbook rivals FanDuel and DraftKings Inc. after striking a deal with Disney last year for use of the ESPN name. Penn will pay Disney $1.5 billion over 10 years for ESPN Bet, which was the sixth-largest sportsbook in the US in the fourth quarter, according to data from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.

Penn operates 43 casinos and horse tracks, and offers online betting in 19 jurisdictions. The company has recently been integrating the ESPN brand into its casinos, such as a new sportsbook in Detroit, and promoting its app on ESPN channels.

At Disney, LaBerge helped launch the ESPN+ streaming service and was also involved in rolling out advertising on the Disney+ site. Chris Lawson, who worked with LaBerge at Disney, will assume his role on an interim basis, according to an internal memo.  

Shares of Penn were up as much as 3.2% to $17.07 in New York. Disney was little changed at $113.45.

(Updates with details on Penn in fourth paragraph, LaBerge in fifth.)

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