Mr. James T. Blackledge has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company since November 2014 and April 1, 2015 respectively. Mr. Blackledge served as an Executive Vice President of Information Services at Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company. He served as Senior Vice President and Product Line Officer of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company.
Blackledge was hooked and became an actuary.
His studies led to a job at Mutual, where he was recently promoted to president and named the successor to CEO Dan Neary, who will retire from the executive position later this year. The timing of the transition is not set.
When it happens, Blackledge will head one of Omaha’s five Fortune 500 companies, with 4,792 employees, 3,480 of them in Omaha, as well as becoming, arguably, the highest-jumping CEO in America (7-foot-2 was his record in college).
Blackledge, 48, joined Mutual as an actuary in 1989 and has been executive vice president, chief information officer and chief risk officer. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from Creighton University.
“James is our future,” said Neary, who will remain chairman of Mutual of Omaha.
Mutual’s board of directors considered outside candidates for CEO as well as people within the company, Neary said. “But the talent that we have inside this company is the best I’ve ever worked with in the 40 years I’ve been with Mutual of Omaha.”
Blackledge said he doesn’t expect big changes when he becomes CEO. For example, Mutual won’t convert into a stock company, owned by shareholders, but will retain its mutual status, which means it is owned by its policyholders.