HARTFORD -- Aetna today announced William J. Casazza has been named senior vice president and general counsel, effective September 6, succeeding Louis J. Briskman, who has announced his intention to resign at that time to become executive vice president and general counsel of CBS Corporation. Casazza also will serve as a member of the Office of the Chairman.
"We are sorry to lose Lou Briskman, but fully understand his desire to return to CBS now that it will be an independent company again," said Aetna Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe, M.D. "Lou has had a major positive impact at Aetna, bringing a fresh perspective to our law department and sound counsel in his role as a member of the Office of the Chairman.
"Bill Casazza has distinguished himself in his role as deputy general counsel and corporate secretary through his support of the Aetna Board of Directors and his supervision of the legal aspects of Aetna 's mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures activity.
"Under Bill's guidance and direction, Aetna has become one of the top-rated companies for corporate governance, outperforming 99.6 percent of the companies in the Health Care Equipment and Services group, according to Institutional Shareholder Services, an independent provider of proxy voting and corporate governance services," Rowe said.
"As much as we will miss Lou and wish him well, we have full confidence in Bill and look forward to his leadership," said Aetna President Ronald A. Williams.
Casazza has been deputy general counsel since 1997 and corporate secretary since 1999. Before joining Aetna in 1992, Casazza was in private practice with Sullivan & Cromwell, a Wall Street law firm, specializing in corporate/securities law matters and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to that Casazza was a Certified Public Accountant with Ernst & Young.
Casazza holds a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Tufts University; a Master of Business Administration degree with high distinction from the University of Notre Dame Graduate School of Business Administration; and a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, with distinction in all subjects from Cornell Law School.
Briskman joined Aetna as general counsel in April 2004 following a successful career at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he became general counsel in 1993. Westinghouse changed its name to CBS Corporation following its acquisition of CBS.
As one of the nation's leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.435 million medical members, 12.976 million dental members, 9.117 million pharmacy members and 13.662 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 684,000 health care professionals, including over 405,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,135 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.aetna.com. (Figures as of June 30, 2005 )