Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has appointed Carl Hess as its next president and CEO.
Hess has been promoted from his position as head of investment, risk and reinsurance and the adviser, immediately assuming the president role.
He will succeed current CEO John Haley upon his retirement on 1 January 2022.
Hess has been at the business for more than 30 years, joining then Watson Wyatt in 1989, and has since held diverse leadership positions spanning business segment and geographic roles.
Prior to his current role, he was co-leader of North America at Willis Towers Watson and before that, managing director for the Americas of Towers Watson.
Having worked in a variety of roles for over 20 years at Watson Wyatt, lastly as global practice director of Watson Wyatt’s investment business, he served as managing director of Towers Watson’s investment business from January 2010.
‘Thorough succession plan’
The firm said it had conducted a “thorough, multi-year succession planning process” which included speaking to third-party consultants assessing the experience and attributes of potential internal and external candidates.
“The board is confident Carl is the right person to guide the company forward,” said WTW chairman Victor Ganzi.
“Carl is an exceptional leader with a strong track record of delivering results, depth of experience and understanding across WTW’s various businesses and a proven ability to bring together and motivate colleagues across the company to deliver value for clients and shareholders.”
Ganzi also thanked Haley for his years of leadership and guidance during the transition.
Hess said he was honoured to lead the business and was excited to be taking on the role.
“Thanks to John’s leadership, Willis Towers Watson is well positioned to compete vigorously across our businesses around the world. I look forward to working together to ensure a smooth transition over the next several months,” he added.