The abrupt dismissal last week of Robert J. O’Connell from his posts as president and chief executive officer of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company was definitely a “non-financial event,” says a Standard & Poor’s rating analyst. [@@]
“We were not made privy to any additional information that had not been disclosed,” S&P analyst Kevin Ahern says. “But we have had further discussions with the company, and we have been able to assess that.”
MassMutual, Springfield, Mass., issued a statement Thursday saying O’Connell’s contract was terminated “due to certain issues, subject to his rights under his employment contract.”
O’Connell had been appointed CEO in January 1998.
He issued his own statement through a public relations agency noting the strong financial performance of the company during his 7 years as CEO but saying it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the termination.
Ahern noted that the company has S&P’s highest rating and has always met revenue and earnings expectations. While there was some pressure from policyholders in recent years to demutualize, the analyst said that the company’s access to capital is adequate now.
Meanwhile, MassMutual announced that 2 more top executives have been terminated.