Blackledge to Succeed Neary as Mutual of Omaha Chairman

OMAHA, Neb. — Mutual of Omaha Chairman Dan Neary has announced his decision to retire as Chairman of the Fortune 500 company, and CEO James Blackledge will succeed Neary as Chairman, effective immediately.  Neary will remain on the Board.

Blackledge was named Chief Executive Officer and elected to the Board in March, 2015 upon Neary’s retirement as CEO.

“The last three years have been among Mutual of Omaha’s strongest,” Neary said. “We’ve continued to achieve financial success while launching significant initiatives to enhance the customer experience. We have every confidence in James as he steps into this expanded role, and we look forward to his Board leadership.”

Blackledge joined Mutual in 1989 and served in leadership roles throughout the Company prior to being appointed CEO. He is a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber Board of Directors, serves on its Executive Committee and chairs the Economic Development Committee. He also serves on the Creighton University Board of Trustees and the Essence Group Holding Corp. (EGHC) Board of Directors. Blackledge and his wife Paula chaired the 2017 DJ’s Hero Luncheon benefitting The Salvation Army and they will be Honorary Chairs for the 2018 Children’s Hospital Gala. In 2019, they are slated to serve as the chairs of the United Way of the Midlands Campaign.

“I’m honored to serve this great company,” Blackledge said. “We have an excellent leadership team, dedicated employees and a talented and engaged Board. There is no limit to what we can achieve on behalf of our customers.”

Blackledge becomes only the sixth Chairman in Mutual’s 109-year history.

Neary joined Mutual of Omaha as an actuary and went on to hold a number of key management positions within the group insurance area. He was appointed president of Mutual of Omaha in August 2003, and was named chairman and CEO in December 2004.

Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line organization providing insurance, banking and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States. For more information about Mutual of Omaha, visit