HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The Travelers Cos. Inc. said Tuesday that Chairman and CEO Jay S. Fishman will step down as CEO on Dec. 1 due to health problems. The company said Alan D. Schnitzer, head of the insurance company's business and international insurance unit, will succeed Fishman as CEO.
Fishman, 62, will stay on as executive chairman, the New York-based property and casualty insurer said.
Fishman told colleagues and employees last November he had a slowly progressing neuromuscular condition. He said in a letter posted on the company's website Tuesday that he is dealing with a variant of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
"At every company there comes a time for new leadership," he said. "Because of the progression of my neuromuscular condition, this time has come a little earlier than I had hoped."
"While this is a progressive disease, anyone who has seen me can tell you that I am more than able to play an active role in Travelers' future," Fishman said.
Fishman, who became CEO of Travelers' predecessor company in 1998, fielded a question about his health during the second-quarter conference call July 21.
"I am very much on the job and fully engaged and at least from my own perspective there's no decline in my cognitive skill," he said.
Schnitzer, 49, joined Travelers in 2007 and serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Investor Advisory Committee created by the Dodd-Frank Act.
Brian MacLean will remain president and chief operating officer and also will take responsibility for the business and international insurance segment.