Mark Wilson to leave Aviva

Published in: UK, People

Companies: Aviva

Mark Wilson is stepping down as chief executive of Aviva after almost six years in the role.

Brought in to turn around Aviva's fortunes, Wilson and the board now "believe that given the turnaround has been successfully completed, it is time for new leadership to take the group to the next phase of its development."

Aviva said the search for a successor will commence immediately, with internal and external candidates being considered. The process is expected to be completed within the next four months. 

Wilson will remain with the group until April 2019. During the transition period, Aviva will be led by non-executive chairman Adrian Montague along with an executive committee comprising Andy Briggs (CEO for UK Insurance), Thomas Stoddard (chief financial officer) and Maurice Tulloch (CEO for International Insurance).

Wilson said: “When I joined Aviva, the company was in poor health. Aviva is very different today. I have achieved what I wanted to achieve and now it’s time for me to move on to new things. It has been an honour to lead Aviva through this period of immense change."

Montague said: “There is much further to go in accelerating our strategic development and enhancing shareholder value. We have agreed with Mark this is the right time for a new leader to ensure Aviva delivers to its full potential. Our priority is to ensure, with our new chief executive, that we have the right strategy, focus, capabilities and leadership."

Wilson, a New Zealander, rose up through the ranks of Axa in Asia, before becoming chief executive of AIA in March 2009, where he led its turnaround after the financial crisis, and subseqent flotation. He was appointed Aviva chief executive in January 2013.

He earned some criticism in March for taking a non-executive directorship at investment manager BlackRock, which was seen as competing with Aviva in some sectors.

Christopher Cundy