Pew Research Center President Alan Murray to Join Fortune as Editor

Alan MurrayPew Research Center President and former Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Alan Murray announced in a memo to Pew staff today he’s been named editor of Fortune.

Murray joined Pew as president in November 2012. In addition to WSJ bureau chief, he served as deputy managing editor and executive editor of online for the Journal and CNBC’s Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2005, during which he co-hosted “Capital Report” with Gloria Borger.

“I came to appreciate Alan’s intellect, and his love of news about business and economics in the years we were both at The Wall Street Journal, and I have followed his career closely as he moved into management while expanding his interests from print to video, digital and events,” said Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Time Inc. “There is no one more wired in the business and media worlds, and I am thrilled to have an editor of his caliber and intellect at the helm.”

Click through for Murray’s note to Pew staff, in which he describes his move to Fortune as “like a calling, and it is one I find impossible to resist.”

It is with very mixed emotions that I announce I am leaving at the end of the month to become Editor of Fortune magazine.

This is not a job I was looking for, or sought. But Fortune, created by Henry Luce some 85 years ago, is one of the nation’s great and enduring journalistic brands. It is one of only two places I applied to work after finishing my graduate degree.  The opportunity to lead this iconic news organization into the new media world does not feel like just another job opportunity.  It feels like a calling, and it is one I find impossible to resist.

I will miss this place immensely.  I was an ardent consumer and user of the Pew Research Center before coming here in November of 2012.  In the nearly two years since, I have become so much more than that.  I am in awe of what you do, your intelligence, your rigor, your overwhelming dedication to your work.  This is a very special place and you are a very special group of people.  I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve the organization for the last two years.

I feel like we have done a lot together, mapping out the right path to the future.   But I also believe you don’t really need me to achieve that future.  This is not my strategy we are executing; it is yours, reflecting the efforts all of you put into forging it last year.  It is also a strategy built in careful consultation with the board of the Center, and the leadership and board of The Pew Charitable Trusts, and one that they fully support.

You also have a very strong leadership team in place, overseen by Michael, Elizabeth and now Robyn.  That troika, as well as all the managing directors, will serve you well going forward.  Jim McMillan, general counsel of the Trusts and a member of our board, will serve as acting president during what all hope will be a brief search for a new president.

I will be in the office until August 1.  My door is open and I will welcome the chance to talk.