Executive Chairman John W. Rowe, M.D. to retire October 1
HARTFORD, Conn., September 29, 2006 — Aetna Inc. (NYSE: ΑET) today announced that its Board of Directors has elected CEO and President Ronald A. Williams, 56, Chairman of the Board. Mr. Williams will become Chairman effective October 1, the date that Executive Chairman John W. Rowe, M.D., 62, retires.
"Ron Williams is a strong leader with the vision necessary to continue Aetna’s remarkable growth," said Rowe. "He has been my partner over the past several years, and as CEO and President has continued to position the company as an innovative leader in health care. We have had an exceptionally smooth transition. I am looking forward to the next chapter of Aetna’s 153-year history, and wish Ron and his strong management team every success.
"For my part, I have appreciated the chance to lead the Aetna family over the past six years. Working together, the Board of Directors, our senior management team, and our 30,000 employees have restored Aetna to financial strength, positioned it as a strong competitor and taken leadership positions on important societal issues that clearly define us as an industry leader. I am proud of this legacy of business success and informed engagement.
"I appreciate the confidence of the Board in electing me as Chairman," said Williams. "This is a tremendous honor and certainly a high point in what, for me, has been a remarkable journey at Aetna. I’m even more excited about what lies ahead. The reason that I joined Aetna in 2001 wasn’t simply to turn around a company that had tremendous potential. It was to really have a positive impact on health care in America by helping people achieve optimal health and assisting them as they become more engaged in the health care decision making process. I think we have built a solid foundation to compete for industry leadership. For us, that means giving people very practical reasons to choose Aetna over our competitors, doing a better job at meeting their changing needs and continuing to be a thought leader on one of the most important issues we face today - improving the affordability and quality of health care in America.
"I want to thank Jack Rowe for his leadership of Aetna over the past six years, for his friendship and for his contribution to the national dialogue on issues such as racial and ethnic disparities in health care, care at the end of life, genetic testing, and pay for performance. In every instance where Jack had an opportunity to lead on important issues, he took up the challenge. Aetna, our millions of members, and the public in general are better for his foresight and leadership. On behalf of our Board of Directors and employees, I want to wish Jack well in his future endeavors.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 29.9 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life, long-term care and disability plans, and medical management capabilities. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans and government-sponsored plans. www.aetna.com.