GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers board of directors unanimously approved the appointment of Northwestern athletic director Mark Murphy as the team's new top executive Monday, ending the search for a successor to longtime Packers leader Bob Harlan.
Murphy, a former NFL player who has a law degree and an MBA in finance, eventually will hold the titles of team president and CEO after Harlan steps down. Harlan will stay in charge through the end of the season, including any postseason games. The transition formally will begin Jan. 1, with Murphy assuming the title of president and CEO-elect.
"The Green Bay Packers are very pleased to name Mark Murphy as our President and CEO," Harlan said in a statement. "He has an excellent background and record of success in the business of athletics, and through his NFL playing career brings a great understanding of our game to his position. He'll be an outstanding leader for our franchise and a great addition to our community. We're delighted to have Mark join us."
Murphy, 52, called it a "tremendous" opportunity.
"The Packers are one of the great franchises in all of professional sports, with a rich history and incredible fan support," Murphy said in a statement. "These are successful times for the Packers. On the field they're performing well, and off the field, they're in great shape, too. I look forward to being a part of that continued success."
Murphy played eight years with the Washington Redskins, then became an assistant executive director of the NFL Players Association and later a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He then served as athletic director at his alma mater, Colgate, before moving to Northwestern.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press