Reg Murphy will step down March 1 as president and chief executive officer of the National Geographic Society. The society's trustees yesterday selected John M. Fahey Jr. to assume those posts.
Murphy, 63, a former publisher of The Baltimore Sun who lives in Owings Mills, said he went to National Geographic nearly five years ago intending to stay for four years, and now "it's time for me to go do something else."
He said he plans to "do some investing in small media companies" and to manage his other investments.
Also, he said, he plans to write a book about former Attorney General Griffin Bell and another about golf.
L He is immediate past president of the U.S. Golf Association.
And, Murphy added, he expects to "play a little more golf and spend more time with my feet up reading."
He emphasized, however, that "this is not a retirement."
Murphy joined National Geographic in 1993 and became its president and CEO in 1996, replacing Gilbert M. Grosvenor, a member of the family that ran the society for five generations. Grosvenor is chairman of the board of trustees and Murphy is vice chairman, a post he will continue to hold.
As CEO, Murphy expanded National Geographic's reach by launching foreign-language versions of its flagship National Geographic magazine -- 10 are expected by the end of 1998 -- and an award-winning site on the World Wide Web.
"As executive vice president, he was crucial in continuing our painful, but necessary, downsizing," Grosvenor said yesterday. During Murphy's tenure, the society outsourced some subscriber-service functions and sold its office in Gaithersburg, maintaining its headquarters in the District of Columbia.
Fahey, a former executive at Time Warner Inc., went to National Geographic in 1996 to head National Geographic Ventures, a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit society doing television, maps and Internet publishing. He has been executive vice president of the society for the past year.
"I hired him specifically to get ready to do what he was elected today to do," Murphy said.
Pub Date: 12/12/97