Excellus BCBS Board of Directors appoints James Reed President and CEO-elect to succeed CEO Christopher Booth in 2021
Posted on June 24, 2020
Barry Thornton promoted to COO, Melissa Gardner promoted to EVP
ROCHESTER, NY – The board of directors for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent company The Lifetime Healthcare Companies, Inc., voted today to name James Reed president and CEO-elect as of July 1, 2020.
Reed will succeed President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher C. Booth who announced he will retire on May 1, 2021. Today’s announcement is part of a planned succession for executive leadership of the $6 billion non-profit health plan, headquartered in upstate New York.
“Jim brings more than two decades of successful leadership within the organization to his new role and has been instrumental in helping shape the future of the company in today’s fast-changing and dynamic health insurance industry.” said Marianne Gaige, chairwoman of the board of directors. “Success starts with having the right people in the right roles. Jim is strategic in his approach, has a strong sense of mission and brings a wide array of experience to the job.”
The board today approved the promotion of Barry Thornton from executive vice-president to chief operating officer. Melissa Gardner is being promoted from senior vice-president to executive vice-president of strategic business programs.
“Our focus remains on our organization’s primary mission of providing access to affordable, high-quality health care to as many people as possible,” Reed said. “As a locally based health plan, we have strong partnerships with those who provide care and those who pay for it and we want to build on that going forward.”
Reed joined Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in January 1996. Most recently, he served as executive vice-president of marketing and sales, and as regional president in the Central New York market. His responsibilities included line of business oversight and all marketing and sales functions for the commercial group markets, retail markets, Univera Healthcare, and Lifetime Benefit Solutions (LBS). He also has oversight of the Health Care and Network Management division
Over the course of his career, Reed has been involved in the community through various non-profit organizations. Reed serves on the board of directors for Centerstate CEO, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and HealtheConnections.
Reed earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his master’s degree in business administration from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.
Reed and his wife reside in Skaneateles, New York and have three children.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.