Independence Health Group names Charles Pizzi chairman, replacing Walt D'Alessio

Independence Health Group, the corporate parent of Independence Blue Cross, named Charles Pizzi the board chairman, the health insurer was scheduled to announce Thursday.

Camera icon Independence Health Group
Charles Pizzi was named chairman of Independence Health Group’s board effective July 1.

Pizzi replaces Walter D’Alessio, who had been in the position since 2005. The change will be effective July 1. D'Alessio will be chairman emeritus.

During D’Alessio’s tenure as chairman, Independence’s revenue climbed to $16.4 billion last year from $10.6 billion in 2005, as the Center City company expanded outside its core Southeastern Pennsylvania market. The company says it serves customers in 29 states and Washington, D.C., up from seven states in 2005.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have great board leadership. During his tenure, Walt has been a dedicated leader, trusted adviser, and true advocate for Independence, the Philadelphia region, and the millions of members we serve,” Daniel J. Hilferty, president and chief executive of Independence.

D’Alessio is a veteran real estate executive and currently a principal with NorthMarq Advisors LLC. Early in his career, he was an executive with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.

Until February 2017, D’Alessio was chairman of Brandywine Realty Trust. He stepped down over what Brandywine described as a governance problem involving an initial failure to disclose that Brandywine had paid NorthMarq a $4.2 million brokerage commission when Independence leased part of Brandywine’s former Philadelphia Stock Exchange Building.

Camera icon Independent Health Group
Walter D’Alessio is stepping down as chairman of Independence Health Group’s board effective July 1.

Pizzi is best known for his positions as president and chief executive of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce from 1989 to 2002 and as president and chief executive of Tasty Baking Co. from 2002 to 2011, when the Philadelphia company was sold to Flowers Foods Inc. for $34.3 million.

Both Pizzi and D’Alessio have been on the Independence board since 1991.

Pizzi is also on the boards of Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, Franklin Square Energy and Global Opportunity Funds, PHH Corp., Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, and WHYY.

Unlike some Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, such as Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Capital Blue Cross, and Highmark, Independence entities do not disclose director compensation on their state regulatory filings.