Tricia Griffith didn’t want to be the CEO of any company; she wanted to be the CEO of Progressive Corp (PGR: NYSE).
She started at the bottom of the ladder at Progressive. She was a claims adjuster, looking under cars in body shops. But as CEO, Griffith has given Progressive a new look. It has now overtaken Allstate as the third-largest auto insurer.
And in 2018, Forbes named Tricia Griffith Businessperson of the Year.
In some ways, Tricia Griffith is a normal 56 years-old working mom who lives in a small town (Hudson, OH). But she is the mother to six children and was the youngest of six herself. So she knows the importance of planning and strategy!
She couldn’t survive otherwise, right?
At Progressive, she has taken strategic moves to grow and safeguard the company.
If your main business was car insurance, how would you respond to the threat of self-driving cars? Self-driving cars mean a lot fewer accidents.
Tricia has responded by moving Progressive into home insurance. She has her eye on life insurance. She has also been talking to Uber and Lyft about different opportunities.
Home insurance has also allowed Progressive to tap into the “Robinsons” customer segment. These are people that bundle their home and car insurance together. They also renew the same policy every year. They are the dream segment for insurance companies.
“We’ve found that the more products our customers have with us, the longer they stay.”
Tricia has helped build a strong and inclusive culture at Progressive. In 2018, the WSJ rated Progressive as the top company for diversity and inclusion.
Unusual for a CEO, Tricia spent time as the head of HR earlier in her career. While leading HR, she made many changes to strengthen the culture of Progressive. She introduced Employee Resource Groups to help support diverse groups within the company.
As CEO, she has introduced a Multicultural Leadership Development Program. Participants’ rate of promotion is 60 percent higher compared to their colleagues.
Tricia Griffith has also worked hard to promote diversity on her board. Half of the board members are women. And Progressive is the only Fortune 500 company with both a woman CEO and a Chairwoman.
“With the right people, culture, and values, you can accomplish great things.”
Under her leadership, Progressive’s revenue has increased by 67 percent (chart below). Tricia has increased net premiums from $20bn in 2015 to over $30bn today.
Similarly, the share price has increased by 197 percent.
Since May, the share price has been advancing in a channel and is reaching new highs (see chart below). The indicator line remains above the MACD line, but the histogram’s bars are starting to trend down. Thus, we may be coming towards a period of distribution.
The next earnings update is on November 3.