Company appoints new chief operating officer, chief strategy officer and chief data and analytics officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (“Blue Cross”) today announced the addition of three new senior leaders who each will play a critical role in integrating company operations with corporate strategy and analytics. Richard Lynch joins the company as chief operating officer, while Sukanya Soderland becomes chief strategy officer and Himanshu Arora takes the newly created role of chief data and analytics officer. These accomplished executives bring a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences to their roles and to the leadership team at Blue Cross, positioning the company to continue its relentless pursuit of quality, affordable health care with an exceptional consumer experience.
Lynch, an executive with more than 30 years of health plan leadership experience, joins Blue Cross from Beacon Health Options, where he was the executive vice president and Northeast region market president. He previously served as CEO of Celtic Insurance Company in Chicago and Celticare Health Plan of Massachusetts, and held senior positions at WellPoint (now Anthem) and Tufts Health Plan. Lynch also served as an adjunct professor of health policy at Northeastern University. As chief operating officer at Blue Cross, Lynch is responsible for IT, operations, member and provider services, health and medical management, performance measurement and improvement, pharmacy and consumer solutions, and network management and contracting.
Soderland joins Blue Cross after spending nearly two decades at international management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, where she served as a senior partner in the firm’s health and life sciences and digital practices. Soderland brings deep expertise in enterprise strategy, digital transformation, innovation and analytics to her role at Blue Cross. As chief strategy officer, she will champion the company’s pursuit of market-leading affordability and outcomes as well as unparalleled consumer experiences. Soderland also will work closely with Arora on company-wide data and analytics efforts. With Soderland’s arrival, the company has a majority-women leadership team, with 12 of the 20 executive leadership positions held by women.
Arora joins Blue Cross after serving as the head of data science and analytics enablement at Health Care Service Corp., the parent company of Blue Cross plans in five states, based in Chicago. There, he led data and analytics strategy and governance. An analytics leader with a background spanning health care, insurance, government and financial services, Arora also previously held senior leadership positions at Zurich Insurance Group, United Healthcare and Deloitte Consulting. As Blue Cross’ first CDAO, Arora will work to advance the company’s data science efforts across a broad spectrum including consumer, provider, plan and account analytics.
“Rich, Sukanya and Himanshu are all seasoned leaders and already valued members of our team,” said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross. “I’m confident their expertise will help us advance our strategy of providing our members with access to high quality, affordable health care with an unparalleled consumer experience.”
“Blue Cross has set the standard for health insurance, not just in Massachusetts, but nationwide,” said Lynch. “I am excited to join a team that truly prioritizes associate and member wellbeing, while also constantly pushing for changes and improvement in our industry.”
“I had the honor of working with Blue Cross in my role at Oliver Wyman, and got to know the company well,” said Soderland. “My previous interactions with the company contribute to my excitement for taking the role of chief strategy officer. I’m enthusiastic about being a member of the team that continues to be the progressive voice leading health care policy and health insurance transformation both here in Massachusetts and beyond.”
“For health insurance companies to thrive and best serve their customers, they must align corporate strategy with the delivery of enterprise data and analytics,” said Arora. “Blue Cross has taken an important step by creating the CDAO role. I’m energized to work with Sukanya and the rest of the leadership team to harness the power of data-driven insights across the organization.”
Date: February 26, 2019