Northwestern Mutual announces C-suite changes

Former chief innovation officer Souheil Badran is now COO

The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons
The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons

Last updated on September 30th, 2019 at 10:47 am

Northwestern Mutual president and chief executive officer John Schlifske announced this week the company is making changes to its senior leadership team.

“We’ve spent time evaluating how to best structure the company and ensure we’re well-positioned to support our strategic priorities,” Schlifske said. “These changes realign roles and responsibilities, leading to sharper structural clarity, and helping us cultivate our ongoing focus on diversity.”

Each of these existing C-suite executives were recently assigned new titles under the leadership change:

  • Souheil Badranis, formerly executive vice president and chief innovation officer, is now chief operating officer. He’s accountable for insurance and investment operations and will lead the company’s “center of excellence around enterprise operational performance,” the company said.
  • Aditi Javeri Gokhale, formerly chief marketing officer, is now chief commercial officer and president for investment products and services. Her responsibilities include the overall growth, performance and integration of the company’s investment products and services business, while also overseeing corporate strategy, marketing and strategic communications.
  • John Grogan, formerly senior vice president of insurance and investment products, is now chief product and innovation officer. He assumes responsibility for the company’s innovation investments into adjacent and disruptive markets, including the company venture funds. He also continues to lead risk product strategy and development, as well as risk selection and standards.
  • Ray Manista is now chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and secretary.
  • Christian Mitchell is now chief customer officer.
  • Don Robertson is now chief human resources officer.
  • Neal Sample is now chief information officer.

Two additional senior leadership appointments include:

  • Evamarie Schoenborn was named president of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.
  • Lori Brissette was named president of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services.

The company also announced its chief people officer Joann Eisenhart plans to retire at the end of October. She has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2011 and led human resources for the company until last year.

“Jo has been a tremendous change agent and force for transformation as evidenced by her numerous contributions during her career at Northwestern Mutual,” Schlifske said. “Our employees are in a stronger place thanks to Jo’s leadership advancing the culture by initiating many positive changes to how we work as a company.”

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.

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