Rodale is the publisher of magazines including Men's Health, Women's Health, Runner's World and Best Life, as well as publisher of books including "The South Beach Diet" and Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." It sold Backpacker magazine to Active Interest Media for $14 million last month.
'Strongly positioned for the future'
"With Rodale so strongly positioned for the future, I have decided this was the right time for me and for the company to make this transition," the outgoing chairman said in a statement.
"We are all enormously grateful for Ardie's stewardship of our company over the past 17 years," Maria Rodale said.
Maria Rodale joined the family business in 1987, first in the circulation and direct-marketing units. She left for a time but returned in 1999 and recruited Steve Murphy as president a year later.