G. Robert Thompson, 57, has been demoted from the presidency of 20th Century Insurance and was named executive vice president on a par with Neil H. Ashley, 63, who was promoted from group vice president to executive vice president.
Thompson and Ashley will report directly to the company's chairman, Louis W. Foster, 73. A spokesman for the Woodland Hills-based insurance company, which sells auto and homeowners coverage, declined to elaborate except to say that the changes were designed to help the firm handle its rapid growth.
Nevertheless, one analyst took a dim view of the changes.
"It's hard to believe this is good," said Joseph Grochmal of Conning & Co., a Hartford brokerage firm specializing in insurance stocks.
He took the announcement as a signal that 20th Century's soon-to-be-announced second-quarter earnings will be disappointing, discounting the company's stated reasons for the management restructuring.