MetLife has appointed Steven Kandarian, current executive vice president and chief investment officer, as new president and CEO, effective 1 May 2011. He will also be nominated for election to the MetLife board.

Kandarian will succeed Robert Henrikson, who in 2012 will reach MetLife’s executive management mandatory retirement age. However, Henrikson will continue to serve as chairman of the board during a transition period through year-end 2011.

Kandarian joined MetLife as chief investment officer in April 2005. In 2007, he oversaw a comprehensive review of company’s strategic initiatives. In 2009, he assumed the responsibility for MetLife’s global brand and marketing services department.

Prior to MetLife, he was the executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty from 2001 to 2004. Previous to this, he was founder and managing partner of Orion Partners during 1990 -1993.

MetLife board lead director Cheryl Grise, who headed the board’s year-long succession planning activity said that the board undertook an extensive process, which included a review of internal and external candidates, and the board is confident that Steve’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge make him well suited to serve as MetLife’s next CEO.

"His deep understanding of MetLife’s risk management culture and businesses make him the ideal person to take MetLife to the next level of global success," Grise said.