Ron Williams

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Ron Williams
Ronald A. Williams - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2010 crop.jpg
Born1949 (age 71–72)[citation needed]
EducationRoosevelt University (BA)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MBA)

Ronald Allen Williams (born 1949)[citation needed] is an American businessman, entrepreneur and management consultant, and board director on corporate, public sector and non-profit boards. Williams is the best-selling author of Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization. He is founder, chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises, LLC. He is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aetna Inc., a diversified benefits company. Aetna is now part of CVS Health.

Following his retirement from Aetna, Williams formed RW2 Enterprises, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to serving American business and society. He coaches and consults with senior corporate executives of Fortune 100 companies on transformational leadership strategy, board preparedness and business strategy.[1] He continues to champion value creation in health care in the US, and works to move the American health care system toward a value-based approach to health care, where physicians, health care providers, insurers, employers and consumers are working together to achieve the best possible health care.[2]

Business leadership[edit]

Williams serves on the board of directors of American Express,[3] Boeing[4] and Johnson and Johnson.[5] He is also an operating advisor to the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R),[6] where he has successfully guided three CD&R portfolio company exits: naviHealth, PharMEDium and Envision Healthcare. He is chairman of the board of agilon health, a company partnering with physicians to create next generation value-based care delivery.[7] agilon health was launched in 2016.

Williams is chairman of The Conference Board.[8] Williams conceived and co-sponsored TCB's efforts to create the millennial leader report "Divergent Views/Common Ground, the leadership perspective of C-Suite Executives and Millennial Leaders.[9]" This report encourages C-Suite executives to better navigate millennial leader talent development and coaching. Williams actively participates with the Committee for Economic Development (CED), and co-chaired two of CED's studies: Adjusting the Prescription and Modernizing Medicare.

In January 2010, he co-chaired the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.[10] He also previously served as vice chairman of The Business Council from 2008 to 2010,[11] vice chairman of the Health Leadership Council,[12] and chairman of the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH).[13] He also was an advisor to The Wall Street Journal CEO Council[14] and a former member of the GE Healthymagination Advisory Committee.[15]

Aetna leadership[edit]

Williams served as both chairman and CEO of Aetna until November 2010 and as chairman through April 2011.[16] He also served as chairman of the Aetna Foundation from 2006 to April 2011.[17] During his tenure, Aetna was named Fortune magazine's most admired Company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category for three consecutive years.[18] Aetna 2011 revenues were $34 billion and the firm ranked 77th on the Fortune 100 list (the year he stepped down as chairman).[19]

Joining Aetna in 2001, Williams focused on transforming the company's strategy, culture, operating performance and financial results. In 2002, Williams was named president and joined Aetna's board. He was named CEO in February 2006 and chairman of the board in October 2006. In 2001, Aetna reported a net loss from continuing operations of $292 million[20] and earnings per share loss from continuing operations of $0.46. In 2011, full-year operating earnings were $2.0 billion with operating earnings per share of $5.17 producing a 12.3 percent operating EPS CAGR over the last five years.[21]

Under his leadership, Aetna sought to make a positive impact on health care in America by serving as a catalyst for change, focusing the industry, public policy leaders, physicians and employers on issues aimed at increasing access and affordability, and transforming American health care into a more efficient system that delivers greater value to all Americans.[22] He has championed specific reforms in numerous broadcast media interviews and authored or co-authored op-ed articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.[21][23]

Public service[edit]

Williams chairs[24] the Health Systems Initiative at MIT Sloan, which conducts research and convenes leaders to drive action on the most pressing issues in healthcare. He also serves on MIT's North America Executive Board.[25]

In March 2011, Williams was appointed to the President's Management Advisory Board, which was assembled by U.S. President Barack Obama.[26] He served in that capacity until 2017. He serves on the board of the National Academy Foundation (NAF),[27] the Peterson Center on Healthcare board of advisors,[28] the Peterson Institute for International Economics[29] and the RAND Health board of advisors.[30]

In 2013 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,[31] an independent, multidisciplinary policy research center, and became a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development, a non-profit, non-partisan, business-led public policy organization.

Early business career[edit]

Prior to joining Aetna, Williams served as group president, and president of WellPoint (now Anthem), having joined WellPoint's predecessor firm, Blue Cross of California, in 1987. Previously, he was co-founder of Visa Health Corp. and group marketing executive of Control Data Corporation.[21]


Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Roosevelt University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.[32]

External activities, awards and recognition[edit]

Williams is actively engaged in public service and philanthropy. He also appears frequently in the news media.[33] During his career, Williams has received media recognition and other awards including:


  1. ^ "Business Strategy Consulting – Ron Williams, Transformational Leadership".
  2. ^ "Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?". Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise? - World Economic Forum.
  3. ^ "Company Name". Archived from the original on December 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "Boeing".
  5. ^ "Corporate Governance Overview". Archived from the original on February 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Clayton Dubilier & Rice, LLC – Building Businesses, Building Value".
  7. ^ "Our Team". Agilon Health. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Board of Trustees of The Conference Board". Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Press Release". Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  10. ^ "World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010". World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010 - World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "It's Not Etched in Stone". December 10, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "CEO Council – Wall Street Journal CEO Council Page".
  15. ^ "Healthymagination".
  16. ^ "Aetna 2010 Annual Report – Thank you, Ron Williams".
  17. ^ "History & Timeline – Aetna Foundation".
  18. ^ "Aetna 2009 Annual Report".
  19. ^ "Fortune 500 – Fortune". Fortune.
  20. ^ "Aetna 2002 Annual Financial Report" (PDF).
  21. ^ a b c "Official Bio". Archived from the original on February 13, 2012.
  22. ^ "Testimony of Ronald A. Williams Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Aetna Inc. before the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee "Addressing Insurance Reform"" (PDF). Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  23. ^ "Aetna Leadership".
  24. ^ "MIT Sloan". Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  25. ^ "Executive Boards".
  26. ^ "Sam Gilliland". Archived from the original on January 21, 2017 – via National Archives.
  27. ^ "Board of directors page". National Academy Foundation.
  28. ^ "Accelerating the Transformation of Healthcare".
  29. ^ "IIE Board of Directors". March 9, 2016.
  30. ^ "health advisory board directory". Rand Health Advisory Board.
  31. ^ "member, National Academy of Arts and Sciences" (PDF).
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ "Media".
  34. ^ "26. Ronald Williams – 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare – 2009 – Modern Healthcare". Modern Healthcare.
  35. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Executives In Corporate America". Black Enterprise. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]