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American Family Insurance names new CEO to begin transition next year

American Family Insurance names new CEO to begin transition next year

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American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance has its headquarters at 6000 American Parkway in Madison.

American Family Insurance named its next CEO, who will take the helm from Jack Salzwedel after a year-long transition period.

Bill Westrate, who is president of American Family’s group of insurance brands, will move into his role as CEO-elect in January and work with Salzwedel on the transition, becoming CEO in January 2022, according to a statement from the company.

“Bill is a strategic, driven and authentic leader,” Salzwedel said. “He has incredible knowledge of our company and industry, combined with a forward-looking vision and interest in new opportunities, that will serve him well not only as CEO of a Fortune 300 company but also as a strong community partner.”

In 2017, Westrate rose to president of the American Family enterprise, which includes CONNECT powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America. He started his career at American Family in 1996 as an actuary.

“I am humbled, honored and prepared to serve the customers, employees and agency owners of American Family as their CEO,” Westrate said. “I’ve been fortunate to partner with Jack, our board and executives in leading the company’s growth and transformation, which will continue.”

Salzwedel, who will retain his role as chairman of the board, became the CEO in 2011. He oversaw the acquisitions and mergers of the enterprise’s other insurance brands, which expanded the number of insurance policies held to more than 12 million and grew the company to about 13,500 employees.

How much did the CEOs of the Madison area’s publicly traded companies make in 2019?


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