GREEN BAY — Mark Murphy may not spend time helping coach Mike McCarthy with game-planning — as the Green Bay Packers president/CEO said he would be when asked what conversations he and McCarthy would be regularly having under the team’s new power structure.
But by promoting Ed Policy to the position of chief operating officer and general counsel on Wednesday and giving him greater oversight of business operations, Murphy will have more time to be involved in the football side of the Packers’ operation — as he decided to be when he determined new general manager Brian Gutekunst, executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball and McCarthy would all report directly to him moving forward.
In a news release, the Packers said Policy “will take on a greater role in overseeing the business operations of the organization, including sales, marketing and human resources, in addition to his current responsibilities. He also represents the team at the NFL level on legal and compliance matters.” Policy’s previous titles had been vice president and general counsel.
Policy was the Packers’ point man on the new Titletown district, a 45-acre development across from Lambeau Field which includes the Lodge Kohler hotel, the Hinterland Brewery, Bellin Health Sports Medicine and Orthopedics clinic and a new tubing hill and ice-skating rink.
"(Policy) has been an outstanding leader for us and has shown tremendous growth in recent years," Murphy said in the statement. "His work on Titletown has been excellent, and will be invaluable to the organization and community for years to come."
Policy, 47, joined the Packers in 2012, having spent nine years working in the Arena Football League, serving as commissioner, president and CEO in 2008 and 2009 before moving to the NFL offices to serve as a consultant. His father, Carmen, was the president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, spending much of the team’s 1980s and 1990s heyday in various executive roles.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to serve the Packers in this role,” Ed Policy said in a statement. “With recent expansion and renovations at Lambeau Field and the planning and opening of Titletown, we have grown in so many ways that are enhancing the organization and community. I’m looking forward to continuing to help the Packers make a positive impact on our own operations as well complement the promising economic development in our area.”
The younger policy is seen both inside and outside the organization as a strong candidate to be the team’s next president. That said, Murphy, 62, hasn’t given any indications that he won’t serve out his full term and stay on the job until he reaches the organization’s mandatory retirement age of 70.
Before Murphy announced on Jan. 8 his decision to have Gutekunst, Ball and McCarthy all report to him, he had said that he would keep intact the team’s previous leadership structure on the football side, which had the GM overseeing all parts of that operation, reporting to him.
“I’m not going to micromanage them. But having somebody to bounce ideas off of (has value),” Murphy said. “Just being somebody who can talk — let’s look at, for instance, what kind of things could we do that would really help us win games? And what kind of things can we do as an organization to really give us an advantage in a number of different areas? I think that’ll be a very different situation having a direct involvement with (the coach).”
Murphy acknowledged, however, he would be devoting more of his time to the football operation, so expanding Policy’s role makes sense.
“For the last few years, I’ve tried to be more involved in football — practices, things of that nature — and as we have gone through the process, (it) focused me on some of the issues I saw within football,” Murphy said.
“My father spent a long career in labor relations and ended up being a mediator, so I will mediate and bring people together and try to get everybody on the same page. Ultimately if it’s not possible, then I will make the decision. But I would say it depends on what kind of dispute.”