Leadership change announced for Deseret Management Corp.

Nov 16, 2023, 9:12 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2024, 1:28 pm

Young Electric Sign company workers install the new Deseret News sign Saturday, July 2, 2011 on the...

FILE: Young Electric Sign company workers install the new Deseret News sign Saturday, July 2, 2011 on the Triad Center. New leadership was announced Thursday for the Deseret Management Corp. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A leadership change has been announced for Deseret Management Corp. Keith B. McMullin, CEO and president of Deseret Management Corp., will retire from his position effective Dec. 1, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday.

McMullin, 82, was appointed as CEO and President of Deseret Management Corp. in April 2012 after completing his service in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, which began in 1995.

Keith B. McMullin, seen here in 2012 when he was appointed CEO and president of Deseret Management Corp., will retire Dec. 1.Ravell Call, Deseret News


“We extend to you, Keith, our congratulations for all that has been accomplished during your nearly 12 years of service as President and Chief Executive Officer of Deseret Management Corporation. Your talents and abilities are admired and appreciated,” stated a letter signed by President Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring.

Under McMullin’s stewardship, the media companies of Deseret Management Corp., which includes the Deseret News, KSL and its broadcast partners under Bonneville International, Bonneville Communications, Deseret Book and Deseret Digital Media, have undergone transformation and have become industry leaders for innovation. Its initiative in “Faith and Media” has been presented around the world, including at the Shard in London, with Google News in Mexico, at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and at the Vatican.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work for and with Keith McMullin. I’ve learned every day from his wisdom and his genteel approach to even the thorniest problems,” said Sheri Dew, executive vice president of DMC and chief content officer. “I will forever be grateful for what I have learned from him.”

DMC properties also include Beneficial Life Insurance and Temple Square Hospitality.

“His care and concern for the companies of DMC has been legendary. We’ve learned from his careful stewardships of these important assets. We will miss him,” said Kirby Brown, Chief Financial Officer for DMC and CEO of Beneficial Life.

Jeff Simpson, newly named publisher and president of the Deseret News, speaks to employees at the company's office in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

Jeff Simpson, seen here when he was named publisher and president of the Deseret News in 2017, will be the new CEO and president of DMC.Spenser Heaps, Deseret News


New leader appointed to Deseret Management Corp

The First Presidency also announced the appointment of Jeff Simpson to replace McMullin as CEO and president of DMC. Simpson, who since July 2021 has served as managing director of BYU Broadcasting, has an extensive media background and with this appointment returns to DMC, now in the top leadership position.

“Keith is an inspired leader who has had a great impact on me both personally and professionally, and I am honored to step into the remarkable legacy he and others have created at Deseret Management,” Simpson said.

McMullin, who worked closely with Simpson prior to his appointment to BYU Broadcasting, said, “I have great confidence in Jeff Simpson’s ability to build on DMC’s strengths and lead it into the future.

Simpson noted the diverse range of products, content and the success of the media brands that he will now lead:

“From the recent reinvention of Deseret News, Utah’s longest-running news operation, to developing ksl.com into the most successful local media website in the country and now, to their expanding industry influence globally, DMC has set high standards,” Simpson said. “The TV and radio properties, along with retail stores are world-class. But as you might imagine, in an industry characterized by constant change, there’s always more to reinvent.”

Simpson’s prior employment includes: president of Deseret Book Company, president and CEO of Bonneville International, and president and publisher of the Deseret News. He began his media work at Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Television. He then built Excel Entertainment Group, which became a top 10 independent media distributor. In 2004, Deseret Book Company acquired Excel Entertainment Group.

“The pace of change in the media industry is breathtaking. It demands constant evaluation and adaptation to stay at the forefront. While this presents a challenge, DMC has a rich history of innovation and success and the remarkable talent pool at DMC gives me confidence that we will be up to the task.”

For the foreseeable future, Simpson will continue to oversee BYU Broadcasting. He will begin his new role at Deseret Management Corp. on Dec. 1.

Other reading:  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland set apart as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve

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Leadership change announced for Deseret Management Corp.