The Hartford’s CEO To Return To Work After Brain Surgery

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The Hartford’s CEO Liam E. McGee had a brain tumor surgically removed “over the holidays,” and he will receive low-dose chemotherapy, the company said late Friday afternoon.

McGee, 58, retained his position as chairman, CEO and president of the property-casualty insurer during the procedure and his recovery. He plans to return to work Monday.

Most of the insurer’s employees learned of the surgery for the first time in an e-mail Friday afternoon, which was accompanied by the company’s first public statement about it.

The company would not elaborate on the circumstances of the medical treatment, out of respect for McGee’s privacy, said company spokeswoman Shannon Lapierre.

McGee was visiting his medical doctor on another matter, and the tumor was discovered.

“I was surprised to learn of the tumor, since I had not had any symptoms,” McGee wrote in a letter to his employees dated Jan. 11. “Post-surgical tests have confirmed that the tumor was completely removed, and I have had no side effects from the surgery or tumor. In an abundance of caution, my doctors and I have agreed on a low-dose chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and we expect minimal side effects.”

The company would not say when and where the surgery was performed, other than that it was “over the holidays.”

It was a small tumor in an easily accessible location on his brain, though the company would not say if the tumor was cancerous.

“The good news is that the tumor was identified early and the procedure went well,” McGee wrote in a letter dated Friday, Jan. 11.

“I am feeling great, as well as quite fortunate,” McGee wrote. “I have had no side effects from the surgery or the tumor itself. I have been working from home and will be back in the office on Monday, fully performing my normal duties.”

McGee finished his letter by writing: “While I normally prefer to keep information about my health confidential, I thought it was appropriate to share this information with you. Thank you for your continued commitment to The Hartford and for your hard work in continuing to execute our strategic plans. We are making excellent progress and I look forward to accelerating that work with you in 2013.”

Thomas A. Renyi, Presiding Director of The Hartford, said in a prepared statement: “Liam has kept the board apprised of the events before and after the surgery. We are delighted that the surgery was a success and are fully supportive of Liam.”

McGee came to The Hartford to be CEO in the fall of 2009, succeeding Ramani Ayer who retired Nov. 1. Before coming to The Hartford, he headed Bank of America’s retail network, which included 50 million customers and more than 6,100 banking locations across the U.S.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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12 thoughts on “The Hartford’s CEO To Return To Work After Brain Surgery

    1. Irene

      Plus he’s an idiot who cares nothing about the employees. When is the so called board going to figure it out?

  1. Unimpressed

    You sound like idiots. Good grief, what mean spirited comments about someone’s health. I hope people are kinder to you when you hit the bump in the road that is out there with your name on it.

  2. Irene

    I agree with you Unimpressed. Celebrating this man’s illness is wrong and was not my intent. My post was meant to vent frustration over his indifference to the thousands of jobs that he is sending to India.

  3. DirtyDoggg

    It would be funny if his medical insurance company tried to find some weaselly way of denying the claim or invalidate his coverage. Maybe claim the treatment he got was not medically necessary, was cosmetic, or was experimental — or that he didn’t first get confirmation from a second doctor. Maybe they could find some provider that participated in the treatment who was “out of network,” even if the provider is the only one who does this type of treatment. Or maybe the drugs that were given were brand name but the company only covers generic.

    Maybe, while he’s recovering from his brain tumor, he’ll be subjected to having to battle and file appeals to get the insurance company to pay, having to meet strict filing deadlines or forfeit his appeals.

    Perhaps the insurance company could retroactively invalidate his coverage completely by claiming that he failed to disclose a case of acne as a teenager or a history of nocturnal enuresis as a kid.

    Think of all the additional profits to be made by finding a way out of paying his claim — the executives would get a gigantic bonus!

  4. A sympathetic reader

    Wow, I never post comments, but how about a little sympathy for someone recovering from a brain tumor. How appalling that people find the need to voice such rage rather than compassion

  5. Matthew Greene

    While I understand the anger at companies screwing thousands of workers to pad executive bonuses and inflate stock prices, it’s inappropriate to comment on that with sometime suffering a brain tumor. Best of wishes Liam for a speedy recovery.

  6. don't wish him ill

    I don’t wish him ill, but I also don’t really care, just as he doesn’t care when he creates “bumps in the road” for a lot of people.

Comments are closed.