May 23, 2023 by David Gambrill
Marnie Kacher is now interim president and CEO of Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) while the province’s public auto insurer begins recruiting for a permanent leader.
“MPI is an important Crown corporation and I want to thank Marnie Kacher for taking on this new leadership role as it transitions from the former president and CEO,” Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen, the minister responsible for MPI, stated in response to MPI’s announcement Sunday.
“With more than a decade of experience as a senior leader at MPI, most recently serving as vice-president of operations and chief operating officer, she is well suited to provide leadership to the corporation at this important time.”
Kacher succeeds Eric Hebelin, who was let go by the public auto insurer in the wake of a government review of how MPI has handled an internal tech project that now costs almost three times more than its initial projected cost, elevated staffing levels, and untendered contracts.
In particular, MPI announced a tech project in 2019 intended to modernize its legacy systems and improve its delivery systems for personal and commercial auto insurance, physical damage claims, and auto licensing and registration.
Initially, the budget for the project was $106 million. Since then, spending for Project Nova, as the project has since been dubbed, has escalated to anywhere between $257 million and $289.9 million as of 2022. In its 2023 rate filing, MPI requested increased staffing levels related to work on Project Nova.
Manitoba’s Public Utilities Commission, which regulates MPI, sounded the alarm about costs related to Project Nova in its 2023 rate filing order, triggering a provincial review of MPI.
MPI’s and the minister’s statements do not include reasons for why Hebelin’s contract was terminated. Keith told CBC he would not comment on the circumstances of Hebelin’s departure out of respect for his privacy.
MPI announced Hebelin’s departure and Kacher’s appointment Sunday.
“Ms. Kacher has 12 years of experience with MPI, most recently serving as vice president and chief operating officer,” Ward Keith, chair of MPI’s board of directors, stated in the public auto insurer’s announcement.
“In this role, she has had broad oversight of MPI’s operations division, including all four of its lines of business. She is well respected by staff and stakeholders and brings a welcome perspective on how MPI can continue to deliver value for the benefit of all Manitobans.”
Feature image courtesy of iStock.com/busracavus