Highmark Health’s Organizational Changes to Have Little Impact on Vision Divisions, Executives Say


(L to R) Celina Burns, David Holmberg and James Eisen.

PITTSBURGH—Highmark Health announced Wednesday that David L. Holmberg was named the company’s president and CEO, and James Eisen, president of Visionworks, will be appointed co-CEO of its HVHC division along with Michael Sullivan, president of HM Insurance Group. However, there will be few changes to the company’s vision divisions, Visionworks and Davis Vision, executives told VMail.

Both Visionworks and HM Insurance Group are a part of Highmark’s Diversified Businesses unit, which also includes managed vision care provider, Davis Vision, and dental insurance carrier United Concordia. Davis Vision and Visionworks remain separate divisions within the Diversified Businesses unit, and Celina Burns, named president of Davis Vision in July 2012, as reported by VMail, will remain in that position, according to a company spokesperson.

Eisen will remain president of Visionworks, maintaining those responsibilities, while also taking on the additional responsibilities of being co-CEO of HVHC, for which he will oversee all manufacturing and professional services. John Kay, executive vice president, manufacturing and distribution, and Jeff Smith, OD, executive vice president/chief medical officer, will both report to Eisen. Sullivan will oversee Davis Vision, HM Insurance, and United Concordia.

Eisen will remain in San Antonio, the headquarters of Visionworks, which currently operates 640 optical retail locations throughout the U.S., according to a company spokesperson, and recently ranked as the fourth largest U.S. Optical Retailer in Vision Monday’s Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers report. Visionworks, formerly known as Eye Care Centers of America, operated under 16 different retail store names until it launched its nationwide rebranding initiative in June of 2011, which was completed in November 2013, as reported by VMail.

“The overall strategy for HVHC remains constant,” Eisen told VMail. “Our focus on the customer is still first and foremost. We will continue to grow and invest in our future by increasing Visionworks’ sales, our overall store count, and by serving both retail and managed care lives in our stores and in our labs. We will continue our strategy of focusing our Davis Vision managed care offerings to complement our Visionworks' value proposition and expanding our store footprint where we can best serve Davis members.”

Holmberg will relocate from San Antonio to the company’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, a company spokesperson told VMail. For the past seven years, Holmberg has served in senior business operations roles for the company, most recently as CEO of HVHC, Inc., based in San Antonio.