Columbia, S.C. – BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina announces that Chairman and CEO M. Edward Sellers plans to retire as CEO, effective August 1, 2010, and that current President and COO David S. Pankau has been named president and CEO, also effective on August 1, 2010. Sellers will continue as chairman of the board.
Sellers, age 65, has been with Blue Cross and Blue Shield for 32 years, including 23 years in South Carolina. He has been CEO since 1992 and chairman since 2001. Since 1987, BlueCross revenues have grown from $220 million to $3.8 billion today. Its employee base also has grown from 3,000 in 1987 to 11,000 in 2010. All of the company’s business sectors have contributed to that growth — including BlueCross insurance, government divisions that hold contracts with Medicare and TRICARE, Companion Life Insurance Company, Companion Property & Casualty Insurance Company, and 23 other subsidiaries.
Prior to joining BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina in 1987, Sellers held positions with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, the Boston Consulting Group, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Chicago. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Harvard. He said his wife of 32 years, Dr. Suzan D. Boyd, and their 28-year-old son, Adam, are looking forward to this transition and share his enthusiasm for the future success of BlueCross.
Sellers currently serves as chairman of New Carolina and as vice-chair of the Palmetto Institute. He previously served as chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Palmetto Business Forum, the Columbia College Board of Trustees, the ETV Endowment, and the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. Recognitions include being elected Business Leader of the Year in 2002 by the State Chamber of Commerce, receiving (along with his wife, Dr. Suzan D. Boyd) the United Way of the Midlands Humanitarians of the Year Award in 2008, and he will be inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame later this month.
Pankau, age 46, has been with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina for 17 years. He was appointed president and COO on August 1, 2009. His previous assignments include being president of the BlueCross BlueShield insurance division and president of BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina, the company’s HMO subsidiary. “David Pankau has proven himself to be an extraordinarily effective leader in our company,” said Sellers. “His success in leading our commercial BlueCross BlueShield business and his grasp of the complexities of the coming evolution in health care, and of our many diversified businesses, predict great success for him as the next CEO of our company.”
Prior to becoming president of BlueChoice HealthPlan, Pankau served in various operations management positions and in the government programs division, and before coming to BlueCross, he worked in the state of South Carolina’s Health and Human Services Finance Commission. Pankau has a bachelor’s degree in health administration from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina School of Public Health. He is active in the community and is either serving or has served on the boards of directors of Healthy Learners, Junior Achievement, the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program, and Saint Lawrence Place. He also is a member of the executive committee of the Columbia Heart Association. Pankau is married to Jennifer DuMont, who also has a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health, and they have two sons, ages 10 and 8.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 30 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.