Korn Ferry Leading President/CEO Search for the Green Bay Packers

February 23, 2024 – The Green Bay Packers have chosen the members of the selection committee to find a successor to Mark Murphy, who will retire as the team’s president and CEO next year. Korn Ferry has been retained to lead this assignment. Mr. Murphy is required to retire when he turns 70 in July 2025.

Susan Finco, the Packers’ executive committee vice president and lead director, will chair the search committee. The vice chair will be Dan Ariens, the executive committee’s secretary and the chair of the personnel and compensation committee. “Mark’s contributions to the organization have been tremendous,” Ms. Finco said. “From updating the corporate leadership structure to growing and diversifying revenue to increasing the meaningful impact of the Packers in the community, Mark continues to position the Packers for success. We look forward to his insightful leadership in the next year and a half.”

The Korn Ferry team is led by Jed Hughes, who was involved with Spencer Stuart in the search that found Mr. Murphy, then athletic director at Northwestern University.

“Our search committee takes this responsibility very seriously as our new leader will shape the Packers’ future,” Ariens said in a news release. “We have been preparing the past several months for this important process, which will be comprehensive and align with NFL rules and requirements, and are pleased to be able to work with Jed Hughes and his team at Korn Ferry.”

The search must abide by NFL guidelines, including the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to consider minority candidates for coach, general manager and executive positions. The plan is to have the new president on board early next year so that they can have a transition period working alongside Mr. Murphy.

Related: Recruiters Offer Sports Clients an Expanding Talent Platform

The Green Bay Packers are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profitcommunity-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957. They have the most wins of any NFL franchise.

Veteran Sports Recruiter

Mr. Hughes, vice chairman, global sector leader, sports at Korn Ferry, is well known for identifying, assessing and developing leaders for sports organizations. His relationships in sports and intercollegiate athletics are extensive, having spent 20 years coaching in professional and intercollegiate football and working for five hall of fame coaches. He also led the development of psychological testing, competency development and structural behavioral interviewing for the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.

An Inside Look at the World of Sports Recruiting
Given the search industry’s knack for finding a need and filling it, it was only natural that recruitment firms would soon step to the fore in the sports sector, which has become a growth area for executive search businesses. Many C-suite-focused recruiting firms are now active in the sector and some specialize only in the sports field itself. In what is seen as a growing trend, sports organizations continue to look outside their respective leagues – and countries – to find executive talent. With so many changes in the sports industry in recent years, executive search firms have stepped up to better understand what type of leaders are needed in the sector.

“When I think of the changes in the sports industry over the past 10 years, I think of new technology and platforms, emphasis on fan experience, engagement, and facility upgrades, increased focus on data capture and analytics, and an emphasis on international growth and global expansion,” said Kevin Carmichael, partner at Prodigy Search. “I’ve also noticed the evolution of ownership groups wanting to diversify their holdings to include multi-team and various business interests – like HBSE, Elevate, MSE, KSE – similar to the traditional MSG, AEG, MLSE models.”

Mr. Hughes has also conducted searches for the USOC, LPGA, PGA of America, Seattle Seahawks, Arsenal Football Club, Liverpool Football Club, Ohio State, ATP Tour and Women’s Tennis Association, among others. Jason Belzer of Forbes has called Mr. Hughes the most valuable connector of the sports industry.

Korn Ferry’s sports practice has conducted a number of prominent searches in the field, including commissioner for the NFL. Other work for the NFL includes placing Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, former New York Jets general manager John Idzik, as well as Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.

Related: Executive Recruiters Continue Their Expansion into the Sports Industry

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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