Thomas C. Paton, 64, has been elected chairman of Blue Shield of California. Paton, who will continue as chief executive, has served as president of Blue Shield since joining the San Francisco-based health-care financing organization 21 years ago. He succeeds Charles M. Hair, who will continue on the board as chairman emeritus.
Charles W. Stewart, 57, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer, will succeed Paton as president.
Elected vice-chairman for 1988 were William J. Johnston, 64, former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Sam W. Smith, 55, a La Mesa family physician.
Other officers elected to the board for one-year terms were treasurer Robert F. Rosenstiel, 69, a Beverly Hills accountant, and secretary Cleo Donovan, 55, Blue Shield senior vice president-corporate relations.
Willis W. Babb, 58, former executive director of the California Medical Assn., has been appointed to the new corporate office of vice president of Blue Shield government relations.