Ron Williams is an accomplished director, veteran business leader, turn-around expert, and bestselling author. He has over 35 years of leadership experience, including serving as President, Chairman, and CEO of health insurance giant, Aetna Inc, and has been part of 9 CEO successions as a leader, director, and mentor.
In addition to his work at The ExCo Group, Williams is a Director of American Express, The Boeing Company, and Johnson & Johnson. He serves as an Operating Advisor to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC (CD&R), and successfully guided three CD&R portfolio company exits: Envision Healthcare (NYSE:EVHC), PharMEDium Corporation, and navi-Health. He also serves as Chairman and Director of portfolio company Agilon Health.
As President, CEO, and Chairman of Aetna, Williams turned a struggling organization into an industry leader, transforming the company’s strategy, culture, operating performance and financial results. When he joined Aetna in 2001, its loss from continuing operations was $292M with earnings per share loss of $0.46. In 2011, the year he stepped down as Chairman, Aetna’s full-year operating earnings were $2B. Revenues were $34B, up from $19.9 billion in 2005, market capitalization grew from $4.7B in 2001 to $15.3B in 2011, and the company was ranked 77th on the FORTUNE 100 list. Under his leadership, Aetna was named FORTUNE’s most admired company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category for three consecutive years.
Williams is Chairman of The Conference Board and a member of the Cleveland Clinic Board of Trustees. He is a member of the President’s Circle of National Academies, which advises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine), and the National Research Council. He also serves on the boards of NAF (National Academy Foundation), the Peterson Institute for International Economics and is a member of the Peterson Center on Healthcare Advisory Board.
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an independent, multidisciplinary policy research center founded in 1780, and became a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development, a non-profit, non-partisan, business-led public policy organization. Additionally, Williams serves as chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises, a consulting firm dedicated to serving American business and society. He also co-authored the best-selling book, Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others and Leading an Organization (2019).
His previous board service includes the MIT Corporation, RAND Health Advisory Board, Deutsche Bank Americas Advisory Board, Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform (CPR), Save The Children, Vice Chairman of The Business Council, Chairman of the Healthcare Leadership Council, and Chairman of the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare. He also served on President Obama’s President’s Management Advisory Board from 2011 to 2017.
Williams is a graduate of Roosevelt University and holds an M.S. in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida.