C. James Prieur, the chief executive officer (CEO) of CNO Financial Group Inc., plans to retire from his post and the CNO board Sept. 30, the company says.

Prieur, 60, took over as CEO of CNO, Carmel, Ind. (NYSE:CNO), in 2006, when the company, then known as Conseco, was just beginning to recover the effects of problems with units acquired in the 1990s.

Prieur led the company as it changed its realigned its operations and recapitalized.

Prieur previously had been president of Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto (NYSE:SLF).

The CNO board has picked Ed Bonach, 57, the chief financial officer of CNO, to succeed Prieuer as CEO.

The CNO board also is creating a new position, chief operating officer (COO), and promoting Scott Perry, 48, president of CNO’s Bankers Life and Casualty Company unit, to fill the COO position.

Perry will become the CNO COO immediately, the company says.

Neal Schneider, chairman of the CNO board, says in a statement that the board is pleased to be able to promote leaders from within the existing management team.

“We are grateful to Jim for helping transform CNO into a thriving insurance and financial services enterprise, and we wish him the best in the future,” Schneider says.

In other executive change news, Unum Group Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn. (NYSE:UNM), says Jon Fossel, 69, the company’s chairman, is retiring. Fossel has been chairman since 2006.

William Ryan, a member of the Unum board since 2004, will succeed Fossel, Unum says.

Ryan retired in 2009 from the position of chairman of TD Banknorth Inc., Portland, Maine. He is a director of WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis (NYSE:WLP).

- Allison Bell

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