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Torchmark Corporation Announces Executive Leadership Changes

Texas Business reports:  McKINNEY—Torchmark Corporation  announced changes to the company's executive leadership team.  Effective June 1, 2012, chairman and chief executive Mark S. McAndrew, with 32 years of service to Torchmark, will step down as chief executive.  

McAndrew will continue to serve in an executive capacity as chairman of the board of directors.

The Torchmark board appointed Gary L. Coleman, currently Torchmark's executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Larry M. Hutchison, currently Torchmark's executive vice president and general counsel, as co-chief executive officers, effective June 1, 2012.

Coleman and Hutchison served Torchmark for 31 years and 26 years, respectively.   

“For the past 32 years, I have had the privilege of serving Torchmark, and I am extremely proud of the many accomplishments achieved at this great company,” McAndrew said in a prepared statement. “It has been my desire to retire when I reach the age of 60, and in preparation for my eventual retirement, the Board identified Gary and Larry as candidates for the CEO position.  There are no better individuals than Gary and Larry to lead this company in its next phase of growth and development, and we expect that under a co-CEO structure, the company will continue to succeed and build on the important progress we have made.  The board and I are confident that Gary's and Larry's expertise across all aspects of the company, combined with their commitment to executing the company's strategies, will ensure Torchmark's continued growth and shareholder value creation.”

“On behalf of the Torchmark Board of Directors, I thank Mark for his dedicated service and commitment to the company as chief executive officer since 2005,” said  Charles E. Adair, lead independent director, in a statement. “As CEO, Mark provided strong leadership through a very difficult time.  Under his direction Torchmark weathered the recent world financial crisis and emerged as an even stronger company than prior to the recession.  Mark has taken steps to further improve results in each of our major distribution channels and has Torchmark well positioned for future growth.  We are very pleased that he will remain involved in executive decision making to assist with a seamless transition of leadership to Gary and Larry.”

Frank M. Svoboda, currently Torchmark's vice president and director of tax, has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Robert Brian Mitchell, currently senior vice president and general counsel of each of Torchmark's insurance subsidiaries, has been appointed executive vice president and general counsel, effective June 1, 2012.

 Coleman, 59, has been Torchmark's chief financial officer since 1999. He joined Torchmark in 1981 (one year after its formation). Prior to that, he was with KPMG for seven years serving primarily insurance audit clients.  He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas.

 Hutchison, 58, has been Torchmark's general counsel since 1999. He joined Torchmark in 1986. Prior to that, he served as a staff attorney for two different insurance companies. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a law degree from Drake University.

Mitchell, 48, has worked in Torchmark's legal department since joining the company in 1989. He received a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Svoboda, 51, has been Torchmark's director of tax for nearly nine years. Prior to joining Torchmark, he spent 19 years with KPMG, including 4 years as a regional practice partner. He received a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Torchmark Corporation is a holding company specializing in life and supplemental health insurance for  middle income Americans marketed through multiple distribution channels including direct response, and exclusive and independent agencies.