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Packers: New President & CEO Elect Murphy

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071202/PKR07/712020652/1989


    Pete Dougherty column: 'Fireworks' expected at Murphy vote

    The Green Bay Packers' board of directors meeting Monday will be one of the most important, intriguing and spirited in years. Early Monday afternoon, the Packers' executive committee will introduce Northwestern athletic director Mark H. Murphy to the board as its candidate to replace outgoing Chairman Bob Harlan as head of the 89-year-old organization. The committee was negotiating a contract with him over the weekend. However, the 45-person board has to approve his nomination by a simple majority, and interviews with sources from the board, the team, as well as outsiders with considerable knowledge of the board's workings, suggest as many as one-third of the board's members appear ready to vote against Murphy, with that number in flux depending on what happens behind those closed doors at 1265 Lombardi Ave.


    "Fireworks could be an understatement," one board member said of the likely atmosphere at the meeting. Based on interviews with the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the "no" votes wouldn't be based on Murphy's resume or reputation. Instead, there are factions that want to hire a local candidate — team Vice President Jason Wied or board member Tom Olejniczak — rather than bring in an outsider to run the team for the first time. There's also a group of perhaps 10 or 12 members who perceive that executive committee members Carl Kuehne and perhaps John Bergstrom marginalized Harlan's role in the search for a time, then took the lead so a candidate of their preference could increase their influence in the organization. Opinions from numerous sources diverge on the degree to which Kuehne and Bergstrom pushed the selection process, but the perception of board members is important.


    Board sources said the 10-person search committee was composed of quality people who worked diligently, but some of the sources, based on observing the search and attending two board meetings on the matter, believe the two executive committee members were the driving forces and only brought Harlan back at the end of the search because they need his support to get the board to approve Murphy. That's spurred fears among those members that the organization could slide back from the successful model Harlan established that makes the Packers an attractive NFL franchise for football executives and coaches: The general manager is given ample resources and complete control over football matters, and he and his coach sink or swim based on their decisions without influence from other team executives.


    Harlan will chair the meeting, and the executive committee will introduce Murphy. Murphy will make his presentation to the board, then leave the meeting while the board discusses his candidacy and votes by secret ballot. Perhaps Murphy's presentation will mollify concerns, sway some "no" voters to approve him, and get him voted in by a large majority. On the other hand, based on dissension on the board, there probably will be a lively debate, and there's no telling what could happen if it becomes drawn out and heated. The executive committee appears confident Murphy will be approved, but even so, if one-third or more of the board votes against the nomination, it would be something of a no-confidence vote. One factor that lends to a potentially close vote is the secret ballot, which is new for the board. In past votes on hiring presidents, the board voted openly by a raise of hands. That minimized the chances of dissent, because most members were reluctant to have the executive committee see them vote against its recommendations for fear of losing their honored spot on the board. But the board changed the team's bylaws for this vote, and the secret ballot should embolden dissenters.

    The 52-year-old Murphy, though not the perfect candidate, has a good resume and reputation. He has an MBA in business administration from American University and a law degree from Georgetown. Sources from across the Packers' organization — football, administration and the board — who researched him the past few days had encouraging reports about his calm, deliberate temperament, intelligence and history for letting his coaches run their programs as an athletics director at Colgate and Northwestern. Nevertheless, there's concern among the football staff about a major change in leadership from what's been a successful organization since the early 1990s. They wonder whether Murphy, who played in the NFL from 1977 to 1984, will try to influence football decisions, and administrative staffers and some board members fear he'll bring in colleagues from his past to fill upper-management jobs with the Packers. Those are issues Murphy will have to address at his news conference Monday if the board approves him. Among some board members, there's concern about Murphy's lack of experience in NFL administration — he's never worked for a team in that capacity — after the search committee told the board this fall that NFL experience would be priority No. 1.

    The executive committee will argue Murphy has compensating qualities to ease his transition. He has some contacts in the league because peers from his NFL career are in upper management of NFL teams. He's participated in NFL collective bargaining as a member of the players' negotiating team during the 1982 strike, and later worked as an assistant executive director for the NFL Players Association. He's an attorney by training, though presumably his knowledge of the NFL's current and complicated collective-bargaining agreement is minimal. Two sources said the executive committee has asked Harlan to remain with the team for another year to help Murphy's transition to the NFL. Harlan would work part-time as an adviser and attend league meetings to introduce Murphy to team owners and presidents from around the league. Murphy will have to get up to speed quickly on major matters, most notably the CBA, because the players and owners can opt out of the agreement in November. If one side does, the Packers will want a respected voice to look out for theirs and the league's interests in negotiations with the players. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to sign off on the Packers' choice, as well. No doubt Murphy's relationship with former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Goodell's predecessor, helped. Murphy and Tagliabue became acquainted during the 1982 strike, when Murphy was on the players' negotiating team and Tagliabue was an attorney representing the league. Murphy has said Tagliabue helped him immensely in his career.

    It's unclear if Tagliabue recommended Murphy to the Chicago-based search firm that gave the Packers their initial list of candidates, and the Packers didn't contact Tagliabue about Murphy. But it's safe to assume the former commissioner gave Murphy a good recommendation to Goodell. Murphy was one of three finalists for the job. Sources said Wied was another, though two said that was as a courtesy to Harlan, who's known to have recommended him for the job. Coach Mike McCarthy strongly supported Wied's bid, though Wied's youth — he'll turn 36 later this month — precluded him from being a serious candidate for some search committee members. The third finalist hasn't been identified publicly. Sources said former Packers vice president Mike Reinfeldt never was a candidate. Reinfeldt, who is executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Titans, never showed interest in the position, and the search committee never pursued him. The sources didn't know if Titans owner Bud Adams blocked Reinfeldt from pursuing the job, though there's at least as good a chance Reinfeldt was unwilling to leave the Titans after only one year as general manager. He and Adams have a close friendship that goes back to Reinfeldt's days as a player for the franchise.

    If Murphy is approved, he'll take over an organization that's in excellent shape financially and on the field. The Packers have a preservation fund of about $125 million and made about a $22 million profit last year. Also, in Ted Thompson's third season as general manager and McCarthy's second season as coach, the Packers have a 10-2 record, which is second-best in the NFC. Harlan signed a five-year contract when he was hired as Packers president in 1989, and the Packers probably will sign Murphy to a deal of four or five years. The contract probably will be worth about $1 million a year. However, Murphy and the executive committee are subject to board approval every year.

    :pop: :pop:
     
  2. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    Packers President Candidate Murphy

    I would rather have a spirited debate among board members that have a cosensus rubber stamp approval.
     
  3. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    MURPHY: NEW PACK LEADER

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3140106&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines

    Packers elect Murphy to succeed longtime executive Harlan

    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.


    :pop:
     
  4. millertime

    millertime Cheesehead

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    Any opinions?
     
  5. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    As long as he lets TT run the football operations and McCarthy coach the team we'll be ok. I don't want an Al Davis like CEO or Jerry Jones for that matter.

    Can't really give an opinion on him right now. It's to early.
     
  6. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Reoprts suggest that Harlan was impressed with Murphy a great deal, and Harlan's endorsement from Harlan was key in having many board members approving Murphy.


    He seems like a funny individual. An un-drafted free agent during his playing years that made it to two probowls would suggest that Murphy isn't afraid of hard work.

    Also, he does have a great work ethic, evident by when he used to be a player for the Redskins by day, and went to Law school classes at night.

    And he has a history of letting his coaches run the show while Athletic director, suggesting that he'll let Ted and MM handle football things. So he seems like a good dude.
     
  7. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Only negative I see so far.. the "Strahan gap" in his front teeth. :lol: J/K!

    Hopefully he serves the Packers as well as Harlan has over the years. :thumbsup:
     
  8. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I was surprised that he'd combed his hair.

    His comment about having learned the error of his ways in supporting the Bears was real funny.
     

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