Thomas “Tom” Watjen '76
Key Largo, Florida
Appointed July 2017
Thomas “Tom” Watjen graduated from VMI in 1976 with a B.S. in Economics. He received an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where he is currently a Darden Fellow and occasional speaker. While at VMI, Mr. Watjen played on the school’s basketball team and was a 1st Class private.
Mr. Watjen retired in 2015 after serving for 12 years as president and chief executive officer of Unum, a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the workplace in both the U.S and U.K. Under Watjen’s leadership, Unum achieved strong, sustainable financial results, while expanding its market leadership position and building a culture of responsibility. The company received numerous awards including being named to the Forbes “100 Most Trustworthy Companies” list and “Best Places to Work,” and is one of the “Greenest Companies in America” according to Newsweek magazine.
Watjen joined Provident, a predecessor of Unum, in 1994 as executive vice president and chief financial officer and was later named vice chairman and director of Provident Companies Inc. Following the company’s merger with UNUM in 1999, he became executive vice president of finance and risk management for UnumProvident Corp. In 2002, Watjen was promoted to vice chairman and chief operating officer of the merged company and elected to its board of directors. In 2003, he was named the president and chief executive officer of UnumProvident, whose name was changed to Unum in 2007.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of SunTrust Banks in Atlanta, where he also serves as chairman of the audit committee, and Prudential plc in London. He had previously served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Unum Group.