Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) board of directors announced today that Steven H. Grandfield will replace Steven S. Martin as the company’s president and chief executive officer in late March of this year. Martin will be retiring at the end of 2018 after a 16-year tenure leading the company.

Grandfield currently serves as executive vice president of strategy, innovation, talent, sales and marketing, and is also president of Genesys Innovations LLC, the company’s growth subsidiary.

“The board is confident Steve Grandfield is the right person to lead Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska through the constantly changing landscape of health care,” said George G. Beattie, board chair. “Steve understands the complexities of this business, and the critical role we play in providing our members with security and stability and guiding employers to make the best possible choices for their group health care plans. This transition leaves the company and our customers in great hands.”

According to Beattie, the BCBSNE board of directors spent the last 12 months undergoing a national search, considering both internal and external candidates. The timing of the transition is a result of a measured, multiple year succession plan mutually agreed upon by Martin and the board of directors.

Martin said he is confident in turning leadership of the company over to Grandfield, who has previously served as chief information officer, chief operating officer and executive vice president.

“Steve Grandfield has led the transformation of the information technology and operational areas of the company over the last 15 years,” Martin said. “In most recent years, he has overseen strategic planning. I cannot think of anyone better suited to lead our company.”

During Martin’s tenure as president and CEO, BCBSNE achieved several significant milestones, including partnerships with providers statewide in accountable care organizations (ACO) and patient centered medical home (PCMH) agreements and the launch of value-based care contracts that focus on quality care, improving patient outcomes and lowering costs. He also steered the company through both the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its exit from the ACA’s Public Marketplace a few years later.

Under Martin’s leadership, BCBSNE has become a vibrant supporter of the community through consistent grant giving as well as his role as a prominent civic leader.

While his business and community achievements were numerous, Martin’s most significant impact may have been the influence he had on BCBSNE’s culture. Under his leadership, all employees came together under one roof in the company’s current headquarters in a ground-breaking development in Aksarben.

As an ardent supporter of the company’s mission, vision and values, he is a strong role model for all employees. His accessibility and desire to connect with employees at every level will leave a notable impact on the company. During his tenure, BCBSNE won the Omaha’s Best Places to Work and the Platinum Well Workplace Award several times. After having successfully navigated the company through an unprecedented period of industry change, Martin plans to continue to work in health care part-time and serve as a community volunteer. 

Beattie stated, “The board of directors is grateful to Steve Martin for his leadership of the company. He led the company through significant growth, developed a strong culture of service, innovation and teamwork, and leaves the company fiscally strong. This smooth transition is possible because of his dedication to developing strong servant leaders within the company.”