SAFECO’s board of directors named Mike McGavick chairman of the board, effective Jan. 1, 2003. McGavick will continue to serve as president and CEO of SAFECO.
“Mike came to us at a very difficult time in SAFECO’s history,” said William G. ‘Gary’ Reed, Jr., a long-time member of the board of directors who has served as the company’s chairman since Dec. 2000. “He assembled an outstanding management team and, together, they made the tough decisions to turn our company around.
“This change is an affirmation that the directors believe the company is well-managed, on the right track, and once again generating positive results for our shareholders, customers and distribution partners,” said Reed, who will continue to serve on the board as lead outside director.
“I am honored with the confidence the board has shown in our management team. And it is critical to underscore the important and permanent role the lead director plays in our corporate governance,” said McGavick. “Gary, along with the board, has developed this role into a key strategic element of how we govern SAFECO.”
McGavick joined SAFECO in Jan. 2001, and immediately launched a series of initiatives to return SAFECO to excellence. Under his leadership, SAFECO has taken aggressive actions to improve the performance of its core business lines, strengthen its balance sheet and reduce expenses while investing in training and new technologies.
Prior to joining SAFECO, McGavick held a number of executive positions at Chicago-based CNA Financial Corp. starting in 1995. This included serving as president and chief operating officer of the company’s largest operating unit, responsible for the majority of CNA’s commercial insurance business.
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