Blue Cross Names Future Executive Officers

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Friday, Jan. 25, 2008 9:34 am  

The Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield Board of Directors on Friday named P. Mark White as chief executive officer-elect and Michael W. Brown as chief operating officer-elect, according to an announcement by Hayes C. McClerkin, chairman of the board.

White and Brown will assume their roles as CEO and COO, respectively, on Jan. 1, 2009.

"The naming of these two individuals is part of our ongoing governance and succession planning for executive retirements," McClerkin said. "This announcement coincides with the established retirement date for Sharon Allen, current president and COO, on Jan. 29 and the planned retirement of Robert L. Shoptaw, CEO, at the end of 2008. Both Mrs. Allen and Shoptaw announced their plans for retirement to the board three years ago.

"Both White and Brown are long-tenured executives within the Arkansas Blue Cross senior management team. Each of these executives has extensive "hands-on" experience in virtually all aspects of the company's various lines of business and related support operations."

Throughout this year, the new CEO-elect and COO-elect will report directly to Shoptaw, who will continue as CEO through the end of 2008.

The board also announced that Shoptaw, 61, will assume the position of chairman of the board effective Jan. 1, 2009. Shoptaw will succeed McClerkin, who has served as chairman since 1997. The Arkansas Blue Cross board also announced that McClerkin will become chair of the board's executive committee on Jan. 1, 2009.

The executive committee presides over governance level affairs of the corporation between regularly scheduled meetings of the full board.

White, 59, has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the state's largest health insurance company since 1994. White joined the company in 1970 and is also president and CEO of USAble Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross. He is on the boards of USAble Corp., USAble Life, Pinnacle Business Solutions Inc., HMO Partners, and Life & Specialty Ventures Inc., as well.

Brown, 59, has been executive vice president of external operations since 2006. Brown joined the company in 1974 and has held numerous positions, including manager of claims, manager of project management, and executive vice president of Enterprise Networks, as director of USAble Administrators (a subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross), and executive director of HMO Arkansas (also a subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross).



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