Deseret News Publishing Co. Chairman Thomas S. Monson presided over his final annual meeting of the newspaper on Wednesday, stepping down after 48 years of service as an employee, officer, director and chairman. He first joined the board in May 1965 and has been chairman for 19 years.
President Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turned the chair over to L. Glen Snarr, a Deseret News board member for the past 18 years.Other directors leaving the board were President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, vice chairman and a director for 19 years; Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve and a director for 19 years; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, who served 16 years on the board; and Marie Hafen, a director for the past two years.
Elder Victor L. Brown, who died March 26, had been a director for 28 years.
In addition to Snarr, Robert H. Bischoff, a member of the board for 19 years, will remain as a director, and Wm. James Mortimer continues as president and publisher of the Deseret News.
The six new directors are Joseph A. Cannon, chairman and chief executive officer of Geneva Steel; Ellis R. Ivory, chief executive officer of Ivory Homes; Ardeth G. Kapp, author and educator; Dale A. Kimball, Salt Lake attorney; H.E. "Bud" Scruggs, chairman and chief executive officer, Leucadia Film Corp.; and R.J. Snow, advancement vice president, Brig-ham Young University.
Presidents Monson and Faust and Elders Maxwell and Holland left their seats on the board in response to a statement issued in January by the First Presidency of the church.
Because of the increasing responsibilities of church leaders worldwide, it was suggested that general authorities step down from membership on corporate boards, public and private, including those of church-owned companies.
To avoid disruption, it was suggested that the board resignations not be made until the annual meetings of the companies involved. The Deseret News' annual meeting was Wednesday.
Director Hafen stepped down because her husband, Elder Bruce Hafen, is a member of the church's First Quorum of the Seventy.
President Monson joined the staff of the Deseret News in 1948 after graduating from the University of Utah in business management. His assignment at that time, he said, was to build a classified advertising department - a tough assignment in what was then a three-newspaper town.
Commenting on the new slate of directors, President Monson welcomed the board members to their new assignments and expressed confidence in their ability to step up to the challenges of the future.