Ronald A. Williams
Former Chairman and CEO, Aetna
Ronald A. Williams is the former Chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc., a leading diversified health care benefits company that was named FORTUNE's most admired company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category for three consecutive years during his tenure. Aetna 2010 revenues were $34 billion and the firm ranked 63rd on the Fortune 500 list. Mr. Williams served as both Chairman and CEO of Aetna from 2006 to 2010, and as Chairman from November 2010 to April 2011. He also served as Chairman of the Aetna Foundation from 2006 to April of 2011.
Joining Aetna in 2001, Mr. Williams focused on transforming the company’s strategy, culture, operating performance and financial results. In 2002, Mr. 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 2010, full year operating earnings were $1.5 billion with operating earnings per share of $3.68.
In March 2011, Mr. Williams was appointed to the President's Management Advisory Board, which was assembled by President Obama. The mission of the President’s Management Advisory Board is to provide the President and the President's Management Council advice and recommendations on effective strategies for the implementation of best business practices on matters related to Federal Government management and operation, with a particular focus on productivity, the application of technology, and customer service. He is also an advisor to the private equity firm, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC, and serves as Chairman of the board of Emergency Medical Services Corporation, a leading provider of facility-based physician services and medical transportation services in the U.S.
Mr. Williams currently serves on the Board of Directors of American Express Company, The Boeing Company and Johnson & Johnson. He also serves on the boards of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Save the Children. 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. Since 2002, he has served on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s North America Executive Board. Mr. Williams is also an advisor to the Wall Street Journal CEO Council and GE Healthymagination Advisory Committee.
Under the leadership of Mr. Williams, 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, Washington Post, The Financial Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Prior to joining Aetna, Mr. Williams was a member of the Office of the Chairman at WellPoint Health Networks Inc. where he served as Group President, and President of the company’s Blue Cross of California subsidiary. Mr. Williams joined WellPoint’s predecessor firm Blue Cross of California in 1987. Previously, Mr. Williams was co-founder of Vista Health Corp., group marketing executive at Control Data Corp.
Mr. Williams is a graduate of Roosevelt University and holds an M.S. in Management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.