Aetna announced today that Chairman and CEO Ronald Williams will retire from in April 2011.  Effective Nov. 29, 2010, he will become executive chairman, and Mark Bertolini, currently Aetna’s president and head of business operations, will be appointed CEO and elected to the company’s board of directors. Aetna said the board intends to elect Bertolini to the additional role of chairman upon Williams' retirement.

“After nearly 10 years at Aetna and with the company performing well, it is time to step aside," Williams said in a statement. "The passage of major health care reform legislation has underscored the need for market-based solutions to address quality and affordability challenges in health care, and the next few years will present another opportunity for Aetna to lead. Mark Bertolini is the ideal person to take Aetna forward.  He has done an excellent job in driving Aetna’s strong operating improvement and in the development of our strategic vision of the future.”

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