Amanda Blanc has taken the helm of Aviva, effective immediately.
The announcement comes days after the UK-based insurer played down rumours that it was looking to downsize its UK advice offering.
She joined the insurer’s board in January 2020 and chairs the customer, conduct and reputation board committee.
Before taking on the board position at Aviva, Blanc was briefly chief executive of Emea and global banking partnerships at Zurich Insurance Group, and prior to that she was group chief executive at Axa UK, PPP and Ireland.
Blanc also served as chair of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and as president of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
She succeeds outgoing boss Maurice Tulloch, who is stepping down for “family reasons”, the insurer said.
He has been with Aviva since 1992 and has held several senior positions, having joined the firm’s board in 2017, before becoming chief executive in March 2019.
George Culmer, chairman of Aviva, said: “I would like to thank Maurice for his valuable contribution over many years with Aviva. The board and I were saddened to hear of the personal reasons behind his desire to step down and we wish him and his family the very best for the future.
“We are delighted that Amanda will be our new CEO. The board was unanimous in endorsing her appointment. I know she will bring real dynamism to Aviva and re-establish our credentials as a high-performing, innovative and customer-centric business.”
Blanc added: “I want Aviva to be the leader in our industry again and the first choice for our customers and partners. My focus will be on achieving that for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.
“We will look at all our strategic opportunities, and at pace. I have been on the Aviva board since the start of this year and have a good understanding of where the business has its strengths and what actions we should take across our portfolio.”
Blanc will step down from all her non-executive directorship positions, but will keep her role as chair of the Welsh Professional Rugby board.