|Born||1949 (age 67–68)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Alma mater||Roosevelt University (BA)
MIT Sloan School of Management (MBA)
Founder, RW2 Enterprises, LLC, former chairman, president and chief executive officer, Aetna Inc.;
Office of the Chairman, WellPoint Health Networks; President, Blue Cross of California;Co-founder, Vista Health Corp.; Group Marketing Executive, Control Data Corp.
Ronald Allen "Ron" Williams (born 1949) is an American businessman, entrepreneur and management consultant. He is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aetna Inc., a diversified benefits company.
Williams served as both chairman and CEO of Aetna until November 2010 and as chairman through April 2011. He also served as chairman of the Aetna Foundation from 2006 to April 2011. During his tenure, Aetna was named Fortune magazine's most admired Company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category for three consecutive years. Aetna 2011 revenues were $34 billion and the firm ranked 77th on the Fortune 100 list (the year he stepped down as Chairman).
Joining Aetna in 2001, Williams focused on transforming the company's strategy, culture, operating performance and financial results. In 2002, Williams was named president and joined Aetna's board. He was named CEO in February 2006 and chairman of the board in October 2006. In 2001, Aetna reported a net loss from continuing operations of $292 million and earnings per share loss from continuing operations of $0.46. In 2011, full-year operating earnings were $2.0 billion with operating earnings per share of $5.17 producing a 12.3 percent operating EPS CAGR over the last five years.
Under his leadership, Aetna sought to make a positive impact on health care in America by serving as a catalyst for change, focusing the industry, public policy leaders, physicians and employers on issues aimed at increasing access and affordability, and transforming American health care into a more efficient system that delivers greater value to all Americans. He has championed specific reforms in numerous broadcast media interviews and authored or co-authored op-ed articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Williams serves on the board of directors of American Express, Boeing and Johnson and Johnson. He is also an advisor to the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and serves on the board, and as chairman of Emergency Medical Services Corporation (EMSC), a provider of facility-based physician services and medical transportation services in the U.S.
In January 2010, he co-chaired the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He also previously served as vice chairman of The Business Council from 2008 to 2010, vice chairman of the Health Leadership Council, and chairman of the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH). Since 2002, Williams has served on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's North America Executive Board. He also is an advisor to The Wall Street Journal CEO Council and a former member of the GE Healthymagination Advisory Committee.
In March 2011, Williams was appointed to the President's Management Advisory Board, which was assembled by U.S. President Barack Obama. He also serves on the boards of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Save the Children.
Early business career
Prior to joining Aetna, Williams served as group president, and president of WellPoint Health Networks' Blue Cross of California subsidiary, having joined WellPoint's predecessor firm, Blue Cross of California, in 1987. Previously, he was co-founder of Visa Health Corp. and group marketing executive of Control Data Corporation.
Post-Aetna career focus
Following his retirement from Aetna, Williams formed RW2 Enterprises, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to serving American business and society. He speaks to and consults with senior corporate executives of Fortune 100 companies, start-ups and the health care industry. He continues to champion value creation in health care both in the U.S. and abroad, paying particular attention to addressing critical societal and economic issues related to the increased prevalence of chronic diseases.
External activities, awards and recognition
Williams is actively engaged in public service and philanthropy. He also appears frequently in the news media. During his career, Williams has received media recognition and other awards including:
- Modern Healthcare magazine's "100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare 2009"
- Black Enterprise magazine's "100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America, 2009"
- Institutional Investor magazine's 2009 "America's Best CEOs Health Care – Managed Care category"
- "Aetna 2010 Annual Report - Thank you, Ron Williams". aetna.com.
- "History & Timeline - Aetna Foundation". aetna-foundation.org.
- "Aetna 2009 Annual Report". aetna.com.
- "Fortune 500 - Fortune". Fortune.
- "Aetna 2002 Annual Financial Report" (PDF). library.corporate-ir.net.
- "Official Bio". ronwilliams.net.
- "Aetna Leadership". aetna.com.
- "Company Name". americanexpress.com.
- "Boeing". boeing.com.
- "Corporate Governance Overview". jnj.com.
- "Clayton Dubilier & Rice, LLC - Building Businesses, Building Value". cdr-inc.com.
- "Corporate Governance". emsc.net.
- "World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010". World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 - World Economic Forum.
- "AETNA CHAIRMAN AND CEO WILLIAMS ELECTED CAQH BOARD CHAIRMAN". CAQH.
- "Executive Boards". mit.edu.
- "CEO Council - Wall Street Journal CEO Council Page". wsj.com.
- "Healthymagination". healthymagination.com.
- "Sam Gilliland". The White House.
- "IIE Board of Directors". piie.com.
- "Official USA Site - Save the Children". Save the Children.
- "Business Strategy Consulting - Ron Williams, Transformational Leadership". ronwilliams.net.
- "Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?". Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise? - World Economic Forum.
- "Media". ronwilliams.net.
- "26. Ronald Williams - 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare - 2009 - Modern Healthcare". Modern Healthcare.
- "The 100 Most Powerful Executives In Corporate America". Black Enterprise.
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