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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 21, 2010

Campaniano quits top job at Farmers

BY Greg Wiles
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Robin Campaniano

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Robin Campaniano has stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Farmers Insurance Hawaii. Michele Saito takes over as president of the insurer.

Campaniano will remain as a senior adviser and work on projects for Farmers, but will be devoting more time to his role as a general partner in the Ulupono Initiative, a firm formed last year by Pierre and Pam Omidyar to invest in socially responsible ventures.

"I couldn't have asked for a better partner," said Campaniano, remarking on the ownership change when the insurer, then known as AIG Hawaii, was sold to Farmers Insurance.

He said the new owner has been supportive of the operation while giving it broad autonomy.

"I'm very optimistic," he said.

Saito, who previously served as president and chief operating officer, has been with the company since 1984. She will oversee Farmers' 300-person operation here.

Campaniano said he joined Ulupono full time at the start of the year after expressing an interest to Pierre Omidyar about taking a more active role. Omidyar, who founded and is chairman of eBay Inc., has been ramping up his activities in the Islands.

The Ulupono Initiative was formed to invest in local businesses and philanthropic organizations involved in renewable energy, local food production and waste reduction.

"We're just trying to do things for the common good," said Campaniano, saying some of the investments may yield a good return, while others could be grants to organizations. "The impact could be potentially huge."