One of Richmond’s biggest corporations is doing some executive shuffling and will now need two chairs in its top office.
Markel announced late Thursday that executives Tom Gayner and Richie Whitt will become co-CEOs, replacing current chief executive Alan Kirshner effective Jan. 1.
Gayner, 53, is currently the company’s president and chief investment officer. Whitt, 51, is currently president and co-COO.
Michael Crowley, currently president and co-COO, will take on the role as sole president.
Kirshner, who has been with the company for decades, will stay on as executive chairman.
Markel spokesman Bruce Kay did not return an inquiry for comment by press time. An email sent to Gayner was also not returned.
Kirshner said in a prepared statement that the changes “set the stage for Markel’s future.”
“Our bench is indeed strong and deep,” he said.
Gayner will continue to oversee Markel Ventures, the company’s acquisition hungry investment arm. Whitt will oversee the company’s international insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as its underwriting, finance, actuarial, claims, information technology, legal and administrative functions. Crowley will continue to oversee the company’s global insurance, specialty and wholesale operations and its marketing, human resources and strategic management functions.
As executive chairman, Kirshner will continue to focus on long-term strategic planning and development.
Markel employs more than 1,000 workers in Richmond and has a campus in Innsbrook. The changing of the guard comes two months after the company announced its second acquisition into the Bermuda reinsurance market.