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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 to the position in April 2012 after completing his service in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, which began in 1995.
“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 DMC, 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.
New leader appointed
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, Excel Entertainment Group was acquired by Deseret Book Company.
“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 DMC Dec. 1.