David Carey is leaving his role as president of Hearst Magazines after almost a decade and is set to leave the world of publishing after almost 40 years.

Carey is to retire at the end of the year, as part of a “long-planned succession process,” according to an internal memo shared with WWD, but he will maintain a role as chairman through 2019. It seems the process does include a search for a replacement of Carey, as he said he intends to help “my successor take charge of our complex business.” Whether that successor is an internal or external hire is unclear, but the entire shake-up will be over “in the coming months.”

Steven Swartz, Hearst president and chief executive officer, said in a separate memo that he, chief financial officer Mark Aldam and executive vice chairman Frank Bennack, along with Carey, are in the process of selecting “the next leader of our magazine company.”

As for his post-magazine life, Carey, a graduate of UCLA, said next year he’s headed to Harvard University to become a fellow in the school’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, which looks to be something of a high-level continuing education program for experienced executives and businesspeople looking to make “an even greater societal impact,” according to a program description.

Carey explained that becoming a student for year will be a “nice break for a 57-year old” and that he will split next year between New York and Cambridge, Mass.

“I’ve had a very long career in magazine publishing and my focus now is to direct my energy toward societal issues,” Carey told WWD.

He added that he has “some ideas” about which societal issues he wants to put his energies toward “but it’s still tbd.” Carey wants to absorb the Harvard program before he makes up his mind entirely.

Even with his plans, Carey said it’s still “100 percent business as usual” at Hearst “as we focus on wrapping up anther good year for Hearst Magazines’ units around the world.”

But Swartz is already looking ahead to the time when Carey is done at Harvard, saying, “When the program ends, I very much hope we can find a way to keep David connected to Hearst.”

Carey became president and group head of Hearst Magazines in 2010 and during his time at the publisher led the acquisition of more than 100 titles, mainly international publications, and also the development and launch of HGTV magazine, now one of Hearst most popular titles.

Before coming to Hearst, Carey spent more than a decade at Condé Nast and became publisher of The New Yorker for many years and is credited with returning the publication to profitability after the departure of Tina Brown as editor in chief, who went on to be the founding editor of Talk magazine, a venture with the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein. Carey in 2014 told WWD that The New Yorker “holds a special place in my heart,” but he actually began his publishing career at Hearst at the start of the Nineties in business development and marketing for Cosmopolitan.

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