Take a look for yourself:
So the board must think he's pretty competent. Seriously, I'm not here to make fun of a fully grown man for looking kind of goofy or never getting braces. And I'll admit to being largely ignorant about what the team CEO does. I assume they run the business side of the team, dealing with stadium, merchandise and branding issues, community relations, charitable events, "shareholder relations," and the team's finances. But all that stuff sort of flies under the radar if you're a Packer fan who doesn't live in Green Bay. Basically, you want the team to make money and stay solvent, treat fans and the neighborhood fairly, and, most importantly, deliver a good product on the field.
Hopefully, new Packers' CEO Mark Murphy will be able to do that. No offense to him, but his previous positions, managing a very low level D-I athletic department at Colgate, and a mid-level (and, in my opinion, mostly half-assed) athletic department at Northwestern, seem quite different from managing the most unique NFL franchise in the country. Despite his homely appearance, Murphy is decently educated, graduating from Colgate, getting an MBA from American, and a JD from Georgetown, and working as an attorney for the Department of Justice. (Total knuckleheads don't usually develop this sort of a background.) Plus, he played for the Redskins and worked for the NFL Players Association, which does give him a decent NFL background.
In his tenure, if Murphy is in Green Bay for a long time, he'll likely face two pressing issues. First, how will Murphy handle the direction and branding of the team when Favre retires? With Brett at the helm, the team has only suffered through one losing season, and the franchise has reaped huge benefits-- a refurbished stadium, tons of national exposure and relevance, increased sales and fan support. Really, being the team's CEO through such a golden era was a pretty plum job. But when Brett goes, the franchise will lose its modern identity and marketing and managing the Packers will become far more challenging. If the team gets worse without Brett, which seems very likely to at least some extent, all the things that a CEO deals with-- ticket price increases, keeping up the team's visibility and popularity, maintaining solid relationships with the Green Bay community-- will get far tougher. I hope Thompson's youth experiment pays off by the time Brett retires-- that some younger players on the team (like Jennings and Hawk, to pick two) turn into bona fide stars who help keep the Packers competitive. But if that doesn't happen, if the team is mediocre or worse after Favre leaves, the CEO job could become very tough quite soon.
And second, if the team becomes consistently mediocre or poor under Ted Thompson's reign, will Murphy have the courage to lay Thompson off, and the erudition to hire a really excellent general manager? More than ever, I am convinced that the NFL is more about players than schemes and strategy. That coaching is a bit overrated and that general managers are vastly underrated. This makes evaluating your team's general manager, and hiring the right one should he prove ineffective, a hugely important task. One reason Murphy was selected as the new CEO, according to outgoing CEO Bob Harlan, was because he has experience hiring and firing people. Deciding whether to retain or fire a GM and choosing a new GM are colossal tasks that affect franchises for years, and potentially decades. If it comes down to that, I hope Murphy's up to the task.