Cavanaugh joins Erie from Chubb Corp. where he has most recently served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for its surety business.
John J. Brinling, Jr., The Erie's interim president and CEO since August 2007, will remain available for a period to support Cavanaugh's transition to Erie before returning to retirement.
A native of Chicago, Cavanaugh has had a 33-year career with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. He began his career as a bond underwriter for Chubb Surety in 1975 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. In the intervening years, he held a variety of positions in Chubb's property/casualty business, including several branch manager positions followed by two zone officer positions.
In 1999, he was appointed chief marketing officer for Chubb. As CMO, he developed new product capabilities that led to a rise in new products and premiums, and established the Wharton Executive Program for agency principals.
Cavanaugh was then asked to return to Chubb Surety to serve as its chief operating officer. During his six-year tenure, that group has become a significant profit generator for Chubb.