Premera Blue Cross CEO to retire later this year

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE – The CEO of Premera Blue Cross announced today that he plans to retire this year.

Gubby Barlow, who joined the insurance company in 1997, will stay until Sept. 30. He then will continue to work through the end of the year helping in the transition with his replacement, Jeff Roe, Premera’s current president.

“This is a significant step for Premera,” Barlow said in a news release. “The company has risen from exceptionally difficult times over a decade and a half ago to become the leading choice for customers seeking health care coverage in our region, ranging from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.”

Barlow has been a transformational leader at Premera, said Kathy Munro, lead director of Premera’s board and chair of the succession committee.

“The company has become the leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest with Gubby at the helm over the past 15 years,” she said in the release.

She said the values of the company, the operational excellence and service are reflections of Barlow’s leadership.

Roe, who was named Premera’s president on Jan. 1, has an exceptional record serving in leadership at Premera, Barlow said in the release.

Roe’s selection as CEO was the result of an extended succession planning process by Premera’s board.

“The board is thrilled to have Jeff lead Premera at a time of significant change in the health care system,” Munro said. “We believe the combination of Jeff’s proven leadership skills coupled with his vision for building on the success of Gubby’s superlative tenure as CEO will yield exceptional results.”

Before becoming president, Roe led Premera’s employer and individual market segments throughout the Pacific Northwest.

He joined Premera in 1996, managing the company’s communications and marketing functions and later led Premera’s Washington market business segment.

Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1933 and is a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.

$4.99 sandwich promotion irks some Subway business owners

Management insists that “most franchisees support the promotion.”

Most Read