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Independent Health's chief financial officer retiring in 2018

Mark Johnson, Independent Health's longtime executive vice president and chief financial officer, will retire in 2018, the company announced Wednesday.

To ensure a smooth and successful transition, Johnson will gradually phase into his retirement and begin to reduce his financial responsibilities later next year, the health maintenance organization said.

Independent Health said it plans to launch a national search while also assessing talent within its organization to fill the chief financial officer post.

Johnson will remain in his current position and help lead the organization until a successor is identified, also working alongside his successor for an extended period of time in 2018.

Johnson, of East Amherst, has been with Independent Health for more than 32 years, first joining the company in its infancy in January 1985 as vice president of finance and planning. He was named senior vice president in 1999 and later promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2004.

Dr. Michael W. Cropp, Independent Health’s president and chief executive officer, credited Johnson for building "an outstanding financial reputation" for the insurance company.

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