Fred Ryan, Publisher of Washington Post, to Step Down

Fred Ryan, the publisher and chief executive of The Washington Post, told employees on Monday that he was stepping down, ending his nearly decade-long run as the newspaper’s top business executive. He was appointed by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of The Post.

In a note to staff, Mr. Ryan said that his next job would be leading the Center on Public Civility, a new project by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute that is backed by Mr. Bezos.

“Today, the decline in civility has become a toxic and corrosive force that threatens our social interactions and weakens the underpinnings of our democracy,” Mr. Ryan, 68, wrote in the memo. “I feel a strong sense of urgency about this issue.”

Mr. Bezos thanked Mr. Ryan for his service in a separate note to employees, saying he led the newspaper through a period of “innovation, journalistic excellence and growth.” He will remain publisher for the next two months.

Patty Stonesifer, the former chief executive of Martha’s Table, a provider of food and clothing for low-income people, will be The Post’s interim chief executive, Mr. Bezos said.

“You’ll soon see for yourself why I admire her,” he said. “Her skills, judgment and character all stand out. She also understands the importance of our mission and has a deep respect for the work we do here.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.