rodale.pngPennsylvania-based magazine and book publisher Rodale Inc. said today that president and CEO Steven Pleshette Murphy has decided not to renew his contract and will be leaving the company at the end of the summer. He will be replaced by Rodale’s chair, and granddaughter of company’s founder, Maria Rodale.

Murphy joined Rodale in 2000 as president and COO, and was promoted to CEO two years later. “After a wonderful decade at Rodale, I have decided not to renew my contract and to take time off to pursue my own creative interests,” he said in a statement. “Now is the perfect moment for Maria to lead the company forward by adding the top managerial responsibility to her role as chairman.”

Maria has worked for the company founded by her grandfather, J.I. Rodale, in various capacities since 1987. She is currently the editor-in-chief of and writes a blog, “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen,” which is also published by the Huffington Post. She has served as chairman of the board since 2007, when she succeeded her mother. She has also written three books.

“I have been preparing my whole life to lead Rodale,” Maria said. “As chairman and CEO, I will work to build on the strong foundation we have established during the past ten years to take this incredible company to even greater heights…The entire Rodale family thanks Steve for his expert leadership, in particular his ability to ensure the company’s stability during a most challenging time. He will forever hold a place in Rodale’s history as both a creative innovator and a disciplined executive, all the while staying true to our company’s unique mission.”

Full release after the jump

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