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After more than 42 years of service to the California workers' compensation community, WCIRB President and CEO Robert Mike announced today that he will retire effective December 1, 2011.
Planning for Mr. Mike's succession began in late 2010. As Bob entered his 5th decade of service to the WCIRB, he advised the Governing Committee that 2011 was likely to be his last as CEO of the WCIRB. A search committee was formed early this year, and a national executive search firm has been retained. The Governing Committee hopes to name Mr. Mike's successor early in the fourth quarter to allow for a smooth transition.
Mr. Mike began his career at the WCIRB in 1969 as a field representative inspecting businesses in Southern California following a two-year stint in the U. S. Army. While working at the WCIRB, Bob pursued degrees in both mathematics and law. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1978.
He later transferred to the WCIRB's home office in San Francisco where, within three years, he was made vice president and house counsel. He was elected president in 1989.
Robert Darby, President of Oak River Insurance Company, a former WCIRB employee and past chairman of the Governing Committee remarked, "Bob has provided steady leadership to the WCIRB through some tumultuous times. His integrity, skill at building a consensus among divergent groups and ability to recruit and retain a highly motivated staff underlies his success at the WCIRB".
During his tenure as president, the workers' compensation industry in California has undergone dramatic change including the inauguration of California's first elected Insurance Commissioner in 1991, repeal of the minimum rate law in 1995, the workers' compensation crisis and resulting insurer insolvencies at the turn of the century, and unprecedented legislative and regulatory system reforms between 2002 and 2005.
This period of change, coupled with the rapid evolution of technology exerted significant pressure on the WCIRB to accelerate its business processes and adapt to the growing needs of system stakeholders. Mr. Mike's leadership has placed the WCIRB on a path for continued success by constantly reaffirming its central role in accurately measuring the cost of providing workers' compensation benefits and championing the development of new technologies to better serve its members in the years to come.
Jim Little, the current Governing Committee Chairman and President of Pacific Compensation Insurance Company, noted, "the last 20 years have been somewhat turbulent for California insurers, but Bob always remained focused, and always looked for the solution that best balanced the needs of all his constituents, whether they were insurers, the CDI, producers, labor, or employers."
Throughout his presidency, Mr. Mike never lost sight of the importance of the data and analysis provided by the WCIRB and consistently expanded its products and services. As he prepares to retire, Mr. Mike leaves behind an organization that continues to provide high quality products and services to California insurers, public policymakers, agents and brokers, and members of the business community.