Craig DeSanto has been designated CEO-elect by the Board of Directors of New York Life, to succeed Ted Mathas, who has served as CEO for nearly fourteen years, when he retires on April 15, 2022. DeSanto, who has been the president of New York Life since July 2020 and a member of its Board of Directors since February 2021, will retain his position of president when he takes over as CEO.
Mr. Mathas remarked, “Craig is a proven leader with the skills and experience to continue New York Life’s heritage of fulfilling our promises to policy owners and clients, agents and employees, and the communities where we work and live.” “He has held leadership roles and delivered exceptional outcomes in practically every line of business during his more than two-decade tenure with our company, and he has a clear vision for expanding our unique competitive stance.” We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Craig’s commitment to our goal and principles, as well as his appreciation for our culture, taking over as New York Life’s CEO.”
“In the Board’s unanimous decision, Craig’s breadth of experience at New York Life, his strength as a recognized senior leader, and his knowledge of the industry make him the right person to take on this role and help author the next chapters in New York Life’s long and successful history,” said Michele Buck, President, and CEO of The Hershey Company and lead director of New York Life’s Board.
Mr. DeSanto joined New York Life in 1997 as an actuarial summer intern and progressed through the company’s financial and business operations to positions of greater responsibility, including overseeing the institutional and individual life insurance businesses. Mr. DeSanto was named the company’s strategic business leader in 2015, where he expanded and diversified a portfolio of businesses that complement and support the company’s main individual life insurance business. These businesses now account for the majority of New York Life’s earnings, nearly half of the company’s payouts, and roughly half of the company’s life insurance sales.
In his remark, Mr. DeSanto said “I’m thrilled to have the Board’s confidence and to succeed Ted, who has led us through a historic period of development and success by capitalizing on our strengths as the country’s biggest mutual life insurer.” “Having spent my entire career at New York Life, I have a profound respect for our 176-year heritage of providing financial stability and peace of mind to our policy owners and clients,” he continued. Our mutuality, financial strength, industry-leading career agency system, and an amazing team of dedicated employees position us extraordinarily well to continue providing the trusted counsel and direction our customers demand from us, as well as to always be there when they need us.