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Safeco's Mead Heads Tech

Safeco's (Seattle; $339.2 million in annual net income) recent turnaround has been called a "sprint for survival" by the carrier's CEO, Mike McGavick. Now that the company has refocused itself on its P&C lines, McGavick says the company is gearing up for "a marathon of long-term profit and growth."

To support this strategic shift, Christine Mead, Safeco's CFO, will assume the additional responsibilities of overseeing service, human resources and operations. Mead, whose title will now include co-president of service, technology and finance, says that her new role is part of a leadership reorganization that aligns Safeco around its strategy. "Our strategy is very much focused on the fact that we sell standardized products over a unified platform through independent distributors, representing a tight alignment between product, platform and distribution," she says.

Mead notes that Safeco CIO Yom Senegor will continue to play a key role in strategic planning at Safeco, though he will now report to Mead as well as McGavick. This organizational shift "is very much about technology being an integral part of Safeco's platform," Mead says.

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