CEO - Chief Executive Officer - Bunch of Keys with Text on Golden Keychain. Black Wooden Background. Closeup View with Selective Focus. 3D Illustration.Greenlight Capital Re disclosed that CEO Barton Hedges will be stepping down at the end of March 2017. News of his impending departure comes weeks after A.M. Best slapped the struggling specialist P/C reinsurer with credit ratings downgrades.

Barton Hedges plans to end his tenure as chief executive officer on March 31, and also step down from Greenlight Capital Re’s (GLRE) board of directors. Former CEO and current board member Leonard Goldberg will take over as interim CEO to enable the search for a new leader, with both internal and external candidates to be considered, according to the announcement.

Greenlight Capital Re did not disclose details as to why Hedges is leaving, either in its press release or via a spokesperson contacted via email with a request for additional information. Board chairman David Einhorn was effusive, however, in a prepared statement that thanked Hedges “for his efforts in implementing GLRE’s strategy and developing a talented, experienced team.”

Goldberg, meanwhile, said that GLRE’s foundation remains a solid one.

“We are confident that we have a strong platform to continue building upon,” Goldberg said in prepared remarks. “As we actively conduct the search for a new CEO, the team and I will continue our pursuit of a differentiated insurance and investment strategy designed to maximize returns over the long term.”

Hedges himself noted his record, also in prepared remarks supplied with the announcement of his departure.

“I am proud of our accomplishments during my tenure with GLRE’s management team and as a member of the board,” Hedges said. “I wish the company and my long-time colleagues continued success.”

In November, A.M. Best downgraded the financial strength rating to A- (Excellent) from A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings to “a-” from “a” for Greenlight Re, and its affiliate, Greenlight Reinsurance Ireland. Also, the ratings agency downgraded the long-term issuer credit ratings to “bbb-” from “bbb” for Greenlight Capital Re, Greenlight Re’s holding company.

As well, A.M. Best revised the credit ratings’ outlooks to stable from negative.

The ratings agency blamed Greenlight Re’s “less favorable underwriting losses.” Greenlight Re has been trying to improve its underwriting results after months of losses.

Source: Greenlight Capital Re Ltd.