Aetna CEO Williams To Retire, Bertolini Named New Head
Aetna CEO Ronald A. Williams is retiring and will be replaced by company President Mark T. Bertolini.
The leadership change was "widely expected," The Associated Press/Washington Post reports. "The Hartford, Conn., managed care company said Wednesday that Bertolini, 54, will become CEO and be named to its board effective Nov. 29. Williams, 60, will become executive chairman and then retire in April. Aetna's board plans to elect Bertolini chairman after Williams retires. Aetna Inc. is the third-largest publicly traded managed care company, trailing UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. Its medical enrollment totaled 18.6 million people at the end of June. Williams has been vocal in the reform debate. He wrote or co-wrote opinion pieces in several newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, and has pushed for the provision that individuals be required to buy coverage" (Murphy, 10/20).
The Wall Street Journal: "Barclays Capital analyst Joshua Raskin said the transition, while not previously disclosed, was 'clearly expected' and amicable. 'Williams' departure signals the end of the great turnaround for Aetna,' he said, crediting Williams and the CEO who hired him, Dr. John W. Rowe, with being responsible for 'the largest turnaround in the history of managed care.' Within two years, they returned the company to growth and profitability from a financial loss the year Williams joined Aetna, he said. Rowe focused on strategy and culture while Williams ran the health-insurance segment and took over operations, Raskin said. Aetna shares rose 1.3% recently to $31.31. The company will pay Williams $20,000 a month from April 2011 through February 2012 for his consulting services. His retirement package includes pension funds valued at some $7 million, and potentially more in accelerated vesting of stock awards" (Brin, 10/20).
The Hartford Courant reposted a 2007 profile of Bertolini (Levick, 10/20).