NU Online News Service, Nov. 27, 1:40 p.m. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla., says William Flaherty, the chairman, will retire Jan. 1.

Michael Cascone Jr., the president and chief executive will Florida Blue, will succeed Flaherty as chairman, the company says.

Flaherty was elected chairman in September 1995. He served as president and chief executive of Florida Blue from 1979 until he retired in 1998.

Before joining Florida Blue, Flaherty served as president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware, Wilmington, Del., from 1975 to 1979.

Flaherty worked for Michigan Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Detroit, from 1961 to 1975.

On the national level, Flaherty has been a director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, and a member of its executive committee.

Flaherty has also been a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Jacksonville Branch, and the board of the University of North Florida.

Cascone has been with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida for 33 years and currently serves as president, chief executive officer and director. He joined Blue Cross in 1968 and has held a number of senior executive positions.

Cascone earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Jacksonville University in 1965. In 1985, he completed a management program at the Harvard Business School.