As of April 15, Gary Kirkner is no longer chief executive officer of Colonial Supplemental Insurance (Columbia, SC, formerly Colonial Life & Accident), according to an internal statement issued by parent company UnumProvident Corp.'s chairman, president and CEO Harold Chandler. Kirkner will be moving to the role of "special advisor" to Chandler, as UnumProvident CIO Bob Best takes on duties as acting president for Colonial, the statement says.
Kirkner was appointed CEO of Colonial Life & Accident in June 2000. He joined Colonial as executive vice president of sales in 1997, followed by a stint as managing director for UnumProvident's Columbia campus from 1999 until his assumption of CEO duties.
Best was chosen as acting president in part because of his 20 years of experience with Colonial, before joining UnumProvident in 1994. "I think that's the logic," he told Insurance & Technology at press time. Best could not comment on the reason for the change in responsibilities beyond saying, "Gary's moved on to another assignment and that's really what occurred, and anything else in terms of expectation was really between Harold and Gary."
Best emphasizes there was nothing at issue with the company itself, as Colonial is "very vibrant and it's growing." He adds: "We'd like to grow the company more and see sales continue to increase."
New competitors are constantly entering the worksite marketing niche, according to Best, which he says has always been a competitive environment. "The fortunate part of that right now is it's a very growth-oriented environment. When you look at Colonial and the competitors and the growth those companies are achieving, and the need for worksite benefits at the employee level, it's an exciting place to be," he says. "Obviously when the market is as vibrant as it is, growth expectations go along with that. And we want to maximize and really nail those objectives in the marketplace."
While executing his duties as acting president of Colonial, Best will continue in his current role as UnumProvident's CIO and senior vice president of customer services.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio