Pacific Life Announces Death of Harry G. Bubb, former Chairman & CEO
Newport Beach, Calif. (January 12, 2022) – Harry G. Bubb, former chief executive officer of Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company from 1986-1989, passed away on December 21, 2021, at the age of 97.
Mr. Bubb was employed with Pacific Mutual, now known as Pacific Life Insurance Company, starting in 1949 with the group insurance program. He was elected president in 1975 and chief executive officer and president in 1986. Mr. Bubb was named chairman and chief executive officer in September 1987 when Pacific Mutual was California’s largest life insurance firm. He retired in 1990.
Mr. Bubb was born in a mining town in southern Colorado where his father ran the local mining operation. After graduating from high school in Texas, Mr. Bubb attended Stanford University. When World War II broke out, he enlisted as a U.S. Navy pilot.
Following the war, he returned to Stanford to get his bachelor’s degree and went on to Stanford Business School. He received a job offer from Pacific Mutual and accepted on the condition that his new employers first allow him six months to travel. They agreed and he visited post-World War II Europe with friends. At the end of the trip, he reported to work at Pacific Mutual “flat broke” and asked for a $50 advance to get started. His long and successful career at the company had begun.
Mr. Bubb saw many changes during his time at Pacific Mutual including the installation of the company’s first computer and the home office relocation from Los Angeles to Newport Beach, California. Mr. Bubb also took an early leadership role in understanding how the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s impacted life insurance companies.
Mr. Bubb foresaw the importance of long-term care planning and was quoted as saying, “People have the impression that long-term care is somehow taken care of by Medicare. That just isn’t so. What our industry can do is make available more programs that would provide…this is one of the things I expect us to have done before I leave.” This is just one example of how Mr. Bubb was always forward-looking to how the life insurance industry and Pacific Life could improve.
Over the years, Mr. Bubb served as chairman of the World Affairs Council of Orange County, a director with the California Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Business Committee for the Arts, as well as a trustee with the Newport Harbor Art Museum and a member of the California Parks Foundation Advisory Council.
He was instrumental in the formation of Pacific Life’s employee volunteer program, a group of passionate and dedicated individuals who wish to give freely of their time to make a difference in the community. The program, which will be celebrating its 37th anniversary in 2022, attributes its long-standing success to the support and vision of Mr. Bubb and acknowledges him annually with the presentation of the Harry G. Bubb Award for Outstanding Volunteerism to one employee who has dedicated an exceptional amount of volunteer hours during the year.
“I had the privilege of knowing Harry in my early years at Pacific Life,” said Jim Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Pacific Life. “He was a kind man who loved being around his employees and loved wearing cowboy boots to special company events. We recognize Harry and the tremendous impact he has had on how Pacific Life has grown.”
Mr. Bubb and his wife, Berdie, were longtime residents of Newport Beach and raised five children. In his retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively and spent time with their 12 grandchildren. Mr. Bubb will be remembered for his leadership and commitment to Pacific Life. The company extends our thoughts to his family during this time.
About Pacific Life
For more than 150 years, Pacific Life has helped millions of individuals and families with their financial needs through a wide range of life insurance products, annuities, and mutual funds, and offers a variety of investment products and services to individuals, businesses, and pension plans. Whether your goal is to protect loved ones or grow your assets for retirement, Pacific Life offers innovative products and services that provide value and financial security for current and future generations. Pacific Life counts more than half of the 100 largest U.S. companies as its clients and was named one of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute. For additional company information, including current financial-strength ratings, visit www.PacificLife.com.
Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Client count as of June 2021 is compiled by Pacific Life using the 2021 FORTUNE 500® list.
2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies® is based on the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient®. “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC.