OAKLAND, Calif. (September 28, 2021) – Blue Shield of California today announced Ather Williams III has joined its Board of Directors, adding to the nonprofit health plan’s governing board his innovative and visionary leadership.
Williams brings extensive experience in the banking and finance industry and is currently the senior executive vice president and head of Corporate Strategy, Digital Platforms, and Innovation at Wells Fargo Bank. In this role, he leads corporate strategic planning, including the company’s digital platform and capabilities. He also manages Wells Fargo’s innovation priorities, opportunities, and companywide efforts to drive transformation.
“I’ve been passionate about improving the healthcare industry for years, a calling that became even more acute the past decade as I began taking care of my mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis,” Williams said. “I’m impressed with Blue Shield of California’s ambitious effort to transform our healthcare system, and I’m honored to lend my experience to help the company realize its nonprofit mission of providing all Californians access to high-quality care that’s sustainably affordable.”
Before joining Wells Fargo, Williams was managing director and president of Business Banking at Bank of America. He also served as head of Global Transaction Services, which delivers traditional, mobile, and digital transaction banking solutions to companies and institutions globally. Previously in his career, Williams held numerous leadership roles at JPMorgan Chase.
“Ather is known as a bold and forward-looking leader with a reputation for challenging the status quo in order to drive innovation and enhance business results,” said Kristina Leslie, board chair for Blue Shield of California. “His expertise will help Blue Shield achieve its directive – to create a healthcare system that is worthy of our family and friends, and sustainably affordable.”
Williams also is the owner of two patents for his leading work in the fields of payments technology and decision analytics. In 2019, he was named to EMpower’s global list of Top Ethnic Minority Executive Role Models as well as Diversity MBA’s “Top 100 Executive Leaders under 50.”
Williams’ appointment to Blue Shield’s board follows recent announcements of Arthur Chen, M.D., and Myechia Minter-Jordan, M.D. The three new directors replace board members who will term out – Evelyn Dilsaver, Hector Flores, M.D., and Alan Fohrer.
The latest board appointments continue to build on Blue Shield’s commitment to and recognized leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to Kristina Leslie serving as the company’s first woman chair of the board of directors, the governing body also has gender balance, and women serve as chairs of four of the board’s five standing committees. Additionally, people of color make up nearly half of the board.
Blue Shield also maintains a zero pay-ratio gap by both gender and ethnicity. It has a balanced representation of women and men in leadership roles (director and above) and was recently included on the 2021 National Diversity Council Index and named one of America’s Best Companies for Women to Advance by Parity.org.
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with over 4.5 million members, over 7,500 employees, and more than $21 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid, and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $150 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last four years to have an impact on California communities.
For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit news.blueshieldca.com.