CompWest Founder Steps Down

September 20, 2011

Compwest Insurance Co. founder Bill Mudge is no longer president and chief executive of the firm he started in 2004.

Mudge’s name has been removed from the company’s phone system, and it disappeared off its website on Thursday. A spokeswoman for the firm confirmed Mudge’s exit on Thursday, said the change ‘was effective yesterday.’

Ron Field, chief operating officer for San Francisco-based CompWest, will lead the organization in the interim, said Kristi Houston, CompWest’s spokeswoman.

Mudge ‘has stepped down as the president of CompWest Insurance,’ Houston said. ‘We are currently in the process of looking for a strong candidate to fill that position.’

Houston indicated Mudge’s exodus was planned, but she offered no further details on why he left or where he may be headed.

‘It was time,’ she said. ‘Other than that we’re not going to discuss it any further. It was a decision that he made, and one of the things he leaves behind was the team that he put in place.’

Asked if the change was sudden, Houston replied: ‘Anyone that knows Bill Mudge knows that this was a thought-out process.’

Mudge hired Field, who is also considered one of CompWest’s founders, Houston said. Field was not immediately available for comment, but Houston said that ‘at a future time he may be able to make a statement.’

Mudge previously was president and CEO of Golden Eagle for Liberty Mutual, he was the lead insurance consulting partner in the West with IBM’s Business Consulting Services, and he currently serves on the board of the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

CompWest, which has offices in San Francisco and Newport Beach, Calif., is owned by Lansing, Mich.-based Accident Fund Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Houston said the leadership adjustment does not change either CompWest’s or Accident’s vision for the state. ‘Their vision and plans for California remain absolutely the same,’ she said. ‘They do feel California is an extremely important market and segment for Accident Fund.’

CompWest was given an A (excellent) financial strength rating from A.M. Best.

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