MetLife has announced that Michel A. Khalaf is to succeed Steven A. Kandarian as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective from May 1, 2019.
Khalaf has served as President of Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) at MetLife since 2011, with added responsibility for the company’s U.S Business since July 2017.
He will shortly take over from Kandarian, who is set to retire from his position as Chairman, President and CEO from April 30.
Kandarian has served as President and CEO since May 2011, and as Chairman of MetLife’s Board of Directors since January 2012, having joined the company in 2005 as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer (CIO).
Additionally, Glenn Hubbard, currently MetLife’s Independent Lead Director, will become Non-Executive Chairman upon Kandarian’s retirement.
“Michel has brought deep knowledge of our industry, an entrepreneurial spirit, and strong leadership skills to each of the roles he has held during his successful career in the life insurance industry,” said Kandarian.
“The financial services landscape continues to evolve rapidly,” he added, “and Michel is the right executive to continue to lead MetLife’s transformation into a company that is continually innovating to meet customer expectations and create significant shareholder value.”
Khalaf joined MetLife in 2010 through its acquisition of American Life Insurance Company (Alico) from AIG, becoming Executive Vice President and CEO of MetLife’s Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
During his 21 years at Alico, Khalaf held a number of leadership roles in various markets around the world, including the Caribbean, France and Italy.
In 1991, he was named as the first General Manager of Alico’s operations in Egypt, and he was later in charge of Alico’s Life, Pension and Mutual Fund operation in Poland, Romania and the Baltics, before becoming Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer of AIG’s operating company in the Philippines.
“I am deeply honored by the confidence that the board has placed in me and excited to lead this great company,” said Khalaf. “MetLife has a tremendous opportunity to increase the value it creates for all of its stakeholders.”
“By accelerating revenue growth, further optimizing our portfolio, and strengthening expense discipline, we will become a more financially successful company,” he continued. “This will help us meet our obligations to customers, create more opportunities for employees, and deliver stronger returns to shareholders.”
Hubbard also commented: “In Michel, we are fortunate to have a leader who has excelled across a wide range of markets, businesses and cultures. His vision to make MetLife one of the most dynamic, entrepreneurial and financially successful insurance companies in the world will serve all of the company’s stakeholders well.”
“Steve Kandarian has been a strong and effective leader for MetLife,” he added. “He made bold decisions to challenge MetLife’s SIFI designation and spin off the company’s U.S. retail business.
“His courage, conviction and strategic focus were essential to position the company for profitable growth. We look forward to continuing to work with Steve through the transition.”