Highmark Changes CEOs After Less Than 2 Years

There’s a big management change coming at Highmark.

Out is Dr. Will Winkenwerder, who has served as president and CEO for the last two years, and in is David Holmberg, who has run Highmark’s for-profit businesses and been with the company since 2007.

Winkenwerder, a physician who ran the military health system for the Department of Defense before coming to Pittsburgh in the wake of scandals involving Highmark’s former CEO, was called a good transition leader by Highmark officials.

But a company spokesman said Highmark’s Board of Directors was looking for someone with a strong consumer focus as health care products, including insurance, become more competitive in the marketplace.

In a statement, Board President J. Robert Baum said:

“David Holmberg is a seasoned business leader with a sharp focus on consumers and achieving results on behalf of customers. David will be the right leader at the right time to accelerate the transformation of our organization.”

Holmberg, a Texas native, had management positions with other retailers before coming to Highmark, including Sears Optical and Pearl Vision and Zales.

While Dr. Winkenwerder’s oversaw Highmark’s expansion into health care delivery with the Allegheny Health System, Holmberg is expected to focus on ways to grow the number of customers both in the for-profit and non-profit divisions of Highmark.

Highmark employs 38,000 people and reported $15 billion in total revenue last year.

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