John Donahue Resigns from Topa Insurance Group as President and CEO

Michael Day will assume the role of President & CEO while the parent company, Topa Equities, Ltd. begins a search to fill Donahue’s role.

(John Donahue. Source: Topa Insurance Group.)

Topa Insurance Group (Calabasas, Calif.) has announced that John Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer, is resigning from the company at the end of 2019. Donahue relocated to Southern California nearly six years ago for the leading role, and his decision to resign was a personal one. Michael Day, a member of the Topa Insurance Group Board of Executives, will assume the role of President & CEO while the parent company, Topa Equities, Ltd. begins a search to fill Donahue’s role.

Bill Anderson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Topa Equities, Ltd.

“I have had the privilege to work for the Anderson family and Topa Insurance Group for almost six years,” said John Donahue. “During this time, I have had the honor of assembling and collaborating with an amazing management team, a supportive and engaged board, and a wonderful group of hard working, dedicated employees. The commute from the Bay Area to Southern California has been particularly difficult on my family. The decision to resign came out of a commitment I made to increase the quality of my life, though I will miss all of the people I have had the pleasure of working with.”

Since joining Topa Insurance, Donahue made what a company statement characterizes as significant contributions in building Topa into a boutique property-casualty insurer. He assembled an executive team, oversaw development of new proprietary systems and dramatically increased employee engagement. In three short years he transformed the culture of the company, earning a Great Place To Work certification in 2017.

“As a technology-driven insurer, Topa remains focused on providing industry-leading ease-of-doing-business, while maximizing the efficiency and business agility of their insurance delivery platform,” adds Donahue. “Building on the success of its Technology Foundation program that delivered best-of-breed solutions for forms, rating and enterprise integration, in 2019 it delivered the last of three commercial products—Excess, Auto, and Business Owners—on Guidewire’s [San Mateo, Calif.] AWS Cloud-based InsuranceNow suite, all in less than two-and-a-half years.”

Michael Day Assumes Leadership Role

Michael Day, President & CEO, Topa Insurance Group.

“My family and I greatly appreciate John’s many contributions in building our insurance portfolio, our employees, and our executive team,” comments Bill Anderson, Executive Chairman and CEO, Topa Equities, Ltd. “We are very fortunate to have Mike Day assuming this leadership role, and the Board and senior team very much look forward to working with him.”

Day has over 35 years of financial and business experience, including 12 years of industry experience serving as the CFO of CSAA Insurance where he led the company through significant business transactions. Additional tenures include MTV Networks, The Walt Disney Company, and Deloitte. Day is dedicated to furthering the progress that has been made over the past six years, according to the Topa statement.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the Topa team during this transition,” comments Day. “It is a strong company with a great culture, and I am honored to be able to build upon John’s leadership.”

New Data Warehouse and BI Platform

“Combined with a new data warehouse and business intelligence platform being delivered this month, Topa enters 2020 with a world-class technology platform capable of exponential growth in annual premium, and providing unlimited opportunities for innovation and automation,” adds Donahue. “Michael is dedicated to furthering the progress and growth that has been accomplished over the past six years.”

Topa Insurance Modernizes with Guidewire’s InsuranceNow Cloud-Based Solution

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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