"Heather is a strong and authentic leader who has a wealth of experience developing high-performing teams and delivering the best outcomes for customers in both health and insurance businesses. "
- Tara Foley, CEO of AXA UK & Ireland
Prior to this appointment, Heather Smith served as managing director for retail at Allianz where she was responsible for providing personal lines insurance for 3.7m customers across the insurer’s major distribution channels. Smith has also worked at Aviva in both its life and general insurance sectors in roles that moved from marketing and sales into profit & loss ownership of the direct insurance business.
Smith succeeds Matt Vardy who has been carrying out the role on an interim basis since the departure of Tracy Garrad in March this year.
Commenting on the appointment, Tara Foley, CEO of AXA UK & Ireland, has said:
“We’re thrilled to welcome Heather as the new CEO of AXA Health and look forward to her joining us next year.
“Heather is a strong and authentic leader who has a wealth of experience developing high-performing teams and delivering the best outcomes for customers in both health and insurance businesses. I’m confident that she is an excellent fit for AXA and is the right person to lead Health through the important next stage of strategy delivery.
“I’d also like to offer my sincere thanks to Matt who continues to do a tremendous job as interim CEO. Matt is passionate about our Health business and will be a great support to Heather when she takes up the role.”
Heather Smith, incoming CEO of AXA Heath, added:
“I’m really excited to have been given the opportunity to take up the role of CEO of AXA Health and continue the excellent work being delivered by such a forward-thinking business. I hope to be able to build on these successes and work with the team to continue to grow the business together.”