Payers lead latest CEO trend: Younger and more women 

There's big demographic shifts occurring among America's new corporate CEOs: They're getting younger and there's more women.

According to a Feb. 15 analysis from Bloomberg, the big shift began in 2022, when the average age of a new CEO declined to 54, and 30 percent of new leaders at S&P 500 companies were under 50. In 2021, the average incoming CEO age peaked at 56 years, and only 12 percent of the top roles went to individuals under 50.

In 2022, seven out of 56 new CEOs were women, compared to three out of 48 in 2021. Bloomberg also reported that CFO-to-CEO transitions made up 16 percent of all C-suite transitions in 2022, up from 4 percent in 2020. Women CFOs hit a record-high in 2022, indicating more potential growth in women CEOs in the years to come.

Perhaps the most prominent example of this trend is Centene CEO Sarah London, who took the top role last year at age 41. Other women leading some of the nation's largest payers include Elevance Health's CEO Gail Boudreaux and CVS Health's CEO Karen Lynch.

10 other women appointed to lead health insurance companies in 2022:

  1. BCBS Massachusetts CEO Sarah Iselin assumed her new role Jan. 1, 2023.

  2. Friday Health Plans named former Humana group and specialty benefits segment president Beth Bierbower as CEO, effective Dec. 2.

  3. Meridian of Michigan, a Centene subsidiary, named Patricia Graham as CEO Oct. 27.

  4. Hometown Health, the insurance arm of Reno, Nev.-based Renown Health, named Bethany Sexton CEO, effective Sept. 12.

  5. Health Alliance Medical Plans, the insurance arm of Urbana, Ill.-based Carle Health, named its COO, Sinead Rice Madigan, as president and CEO Aug. 17.

  6. Molina Healthcare of New Mexico named Carolyn Ingram as plan president June 30.

  7. BCBS Oklahoma named Stephania Grober as president of the organization, effective May 1.

  8. Anthem BCBS New Hampshire named Maria Proulx president, effective March 14. 

  9. Colorado Access, the state's largest Medicaid plan, named Annie Lee as president and CEO, effective Feb. 14.

  10. Covered California, the state's ACA marketplace, named Jessica Altman CEO in January.

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