National Public Radio Chief Executive Gary Knell is stepping down in the fall to become president and chief executive officer of the National Geographic Society.
Knell leaves NPR after less than two years on the job. In a statement to staffers, he said the National Geographic offer was too good to turn down.
The controversy led to the resignation of Knell's predecessor, Vivian Schiller, and fed criticism by conservatives who accused the news organization of bias and called to strip the nonprofit organization of its federal funding.
Early in his tenure, Knell said he wanted to "depoliticize" the debate over public broadcasting, a statement that was criticized by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group.