James Reid (l) and Kirk Rothrock
NEW YORK—MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced Thursday that James Reid has been named chief executive officer of Versant Health, a managed vision care company and wholly owned subsidiary of MetLife. The appointment is effective April 1. Reid will succeed Kirk Rothrock, who is retiring after eight years leading the company, the announcement noted. MetLife completed its planned $1.7 billion acquisition of Versant Health earlier this week, as VMAIL  reported. He will stay on through March 31 to ensure a smooth transition, according to MetLife.

During his time with the company, Rothrock led the consolidation and integration of Superior Vision, Block Vision and Davis Vision to create Versant Health, a leading managed vision care company serving more than 35 million members.

Reid brings more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry to the role. Most recently, he held both domestic and international leadership roles at MetLife, leading Global Employee Benefits, broadening relationships and fueling growth across the globe through partnerships with multinational corporations and distribution relationships with financial institutions.

Earlier in his career, Reid spent more than 20 years at Aetna where he had responsibility for P&L, sales, underwriting, product strategy, pricing, operations and consumer distribution across a number of senior leadership roles.

“James brings extensive and varied experience in the group benefits market to Versant Health,” said Todd Katz, chairman of the Versant Health board of directors and executive vice president, group benefits at MetLife. “His dedication to delivering for customers, focus on building talent, and background in both sales and general management makes him ideally suited to lead Versant to new levels of growth.”

Katz also acknowledged Rothrock’s contributions to Versant Health. “We’d like to thank Kirk for leading the business over the last eight years and being the architect of its growth and success,” he said.

Reid said he is “looking forward to leading the strong team at Versant Health” in his new role as chief executive. “They have built a tremendous business with strong client relationships and unparalleled products. I am humbled and excited to work with them to continue the growth trajectory,” he said.

MetLife, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the world's leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate a changing world, according to the company.