Highmark Health Names Holmberg President and CEO, Visionworks’ Eisen Co-CEO of HVHC

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David L. Holmberg (l) and James Eisen.

PITTSBURGH— The board of directors of Highmark Health announced today the appointment of David L. Holmberg as the company's new president and CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Holmberg, 55, who has been with the company in senior business operations roles for seven years, succeeds William Winkenwerder, MD, who served in the role since June 2012 and is leaving the company.

Highmark Health is comprised of Highmark Inc., which includes the Highmark Health Plan and Diversified Businesses, as well as the Allegheny Health Network. Highmark Health Plan is the ninth largest health insurance company in the U.S. with 5.2 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.

The company’s Diversified Businesses unit, which Holmberg had been overseeing, is made up of HVHC Inc., including more than 620 Visionworks specialty optical retail stores as well as Davis Vision, the third largest U.S. managed vision care provider. It also includes United Concordia, the sixth largest dental insurance carrier in the U.S., and HM Insurance Group, a leading stop loss insurance provider. The Allegheny Health Network, formed in 2013, is a unified health care system comprised of eight hospitals with more than 1,000 employed physicians.

Holmberg has been a member of the senior executive team of Highmark Health since 2007 and has served in a number of increasingly significant operating roles within the enterprise. He has been president of Highmark Inc.'s Diversified Businesses since July 2013 as well as CEO of HVHC, Inc. and chairman and CEO of Visionworks.

"David Holmberg is a seasoned business leader with a sharp focus on consumers and achieving results on behalf of customers, and I am pleased that he has agreed to accept our board's offer to become Highmark Health's next president and CEO," said J. Robert Baum, Ph.D., chairman of Highmark Health's board of directors. "This is a time of significant change across the health care marketplace, and David will be the right leader at the right time to accelerate the transformation of our organization. I anticipate that he will work in collaboration with our executive team to continue the implementation of our growth strategy and to diversify our organization regionally and nationally with a comprehensive portfolio of health solutions.

"I want to thank Bill Winkenwerder for his service to our enterprise and our 38,000 employees. Bill joined us two years ago bringing his national reputation, high integrity and strategic vision. During his tenure, Highmark Health became an integrated health care delivery system by creating the Allegheny Health Network. We thank him for his dedicated service," Baum said.

Prior to joining Highmark in November 2007, Holmberg was executive vice president for operations for Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., a leading national specialty retailer of crafting, decorating and sewing products. He also served as president of Cole Licensed Brands which encompassed more than 1,200 Sears Optical, Target Optical, BJ's Wholesale Clubs, Pearle Vision Canada and Sears Optical Canada stores. He previously held several key management positions at Zales Corporation. Holmberg received his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

"I am deeply gratified by the board's decision to appoint me as Highmark Health’s next president and CEO," said Holmberg. "Since joining the enterprise in 2007, I have worked with my colleagues on the executive team and in the Diversified Businesses to innovate and create products and services that meet the evolving needs of our customers. Highmark Health and its businesses have momentum and a strategy for continued future growth. I view my role as CEO as creating a culture focused on the needs of our customers, continuing to improve our operating fundamentals, and implementing and accelerating our transformation into a nationally recognized integrated health care delivery system."

Pending final board approval, the following changes will take place in the Diversified Business companies in light of Holmberg's promotion. James Eisen, currently president of Visionworks, will be appointed co-CEO of HVHC, assuming the additional responsibility for manufacturing, distribution and professional services.

Michael Sullivan, currently president of HM Insurance Group, will be appointed co-CEO of HVHC, as well as CEO of HM Insurance Group and CEO of United Concordia Dental. Eisen and Sullivan will join the senior leadership team of Highmark Health and report directly to Holmberg. Additionally, Matthew Rhenish, senior vice president of strategy and marketing for HM Insurance Group will become HM Insurance Group’s president, reporting to Sullivan.

Highmark Health is a diversified health and wellness enterprise based in Pittsburgh that employs 38,000 people and serves 35 million individuals, making it the third largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation. A Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation, Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., which, directly or through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides health insurance, dental insurance, vision care and other related health products and services to customers. Highmark Health is also the parent company for an integrated health care delivery network that includes seven hospitals, physician organizations, a group purchasing organization and ambulatory surgery centers.