NU Online News Service, March 31, 2003, 5:13 p.m. EST – UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., has fired J. Harold Chandler, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
The disability insurer has named Thomas Watjen, the company’s vice chairman and chief operating officer, to replace Chandler as president and CEO on an “interim basis.”
The company has also named two outside directors, C. William Pollard and Lawrence Pugh, to be co-chairmen.
A search committee led by an outside director will use an executive search firm to find a new, permanent CEO, UnumProvident says.
Pollard and Pugh put out a statement saying that the management change should help UnumProvident strengthen its financial position, improve the consistency of its performance and restore investor confidence.
“While the board appreciates the contributions of Harold Chandler to UnumProvident, it has concluded that it is necessary to make a management change at this time,” Pollard and Pugh say in the statement.
Chandler has been the head of UnumProvident and a predecessor company, Provident Companies Inc., since 1993.