Robert A. Beck, who has been chairman and chief executive of Prudential Insurance Co. of America since 1978, announced that he plans to retire in February.
The board of the Newark, N.J.-based insurance and financial services company elected Robert C. Winters, vice chairman, to succeed Beck as both chairman and chief executive.
A company statement provided no explanation for Beck’s decision, but spokesman Rick Matthews described it as “purely voluntary.”
Beck turns 61 next month, and his scheduled retirement next Feb. 5 coincides with his 36th anniversary with Prudential. He joined the company as an insurance agent in 1951.
Since Beck took over as chief executive in 1978, the company’s assets have risen to more than $120 billion from less than $50 billion, and it has an additional $40 billion under management.