Exec blamed for leadership exodus at Baldwin & Lyons resigns from firm

Steven Shapiro—who was blamed for a major squabble that sent three top executives fleeing from Baldwin & Lyons Inc. two years ago—has now himself left the company.

The Carmel-based transportation insurance company announced Monday that Shapiro resigned from his position as executive chairman and as a member of the board of directors, effective June 5.

CEO Randy Birchfield said the position itself would be retired.

Shapiro, 52, a director since 2007 whom the board elevated to executive chairman in October 2015, frequently clashed with then-CEO Joseph DeVito, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Corydon, and Deputy Chairman and former CEO Gary Miller after his promotion.

The trio, who had a combined 124 years with the company, all “retired” suddenly in May 2016 and attributed the decision to Shapiro’s leadership.

Since then, Baldwin & Lyons also has seen the departure of Chief Operating Officer Michael Case and Chief Accounting Officer Michael Edwards.

“The role of executive chairman was established in late 2015 during a period of management transition to help develop a long-term strategic plan for the company,” Birchfield said in written comments. “Over the last two years, the management team has successfully created and is executing a plan to grow the business and increase shareholder value. Consequently, the board has decided to retire the executive chairman position and establish a more traditional corporate governance structure.”

Shapiro’s family has been a major Baldwin & Lyons shareholder for decades, controlling nearly 49 percent of the company's Class A voting shares and controlling four seats on the 15-member board.

“The board and I wish to thank Steve for providing his time, effort and guidance to the company during this transition,” Birchfield said. “We wish him the best as he resumes pursuit of his other interests and are pleased that he remains an interested shareholder and is invested in the company’s success.”

Baldwin & Lyons shares rose 1.5 percent Monday, to $23.80 each.

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