HOUSTON, Oct. 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) today announced that the Company will move forward with its previously announced CEO succession plan. John N. Molbeck, Jr. will continue to serve as CEO until the Company's final Board of Directors meeting of the year, which is scheduled for December 19, 2012. Christopher J.B. Williams, the Company's President and previously announced successor to Mr. Molbeck, will become CEO at that time. Mr. Molbeck will remain actively involved with the Company through his planned retirement date of May 31, 2013, and is expected to continue to serve on the HCC Board. Mr. Molbeck commented, "As part of our previously announced CEO succession plan, Chris and I have continued to work closely since he moved into the role of President in May 2011 from his previous position as Chairman of HCC's Board. This transition has gone smoothly. With the Company in excellent condition strategically, competitively, operationally and financially, I recommended to the Board that now is the right time for Chris to take over as CEO. I will continue to actively assist Chris through my retirement in May 2013." Mr. Williams commented, "I have received excellent support during this transition period from John and the Board, and am now well prepared and grateful for the opportunity to lead HCC toward future growth. I will continue to work closely with John to finish out 2012 in strong fashion and am excited about the outstanding prospects for HCC as a top tier specialty insurer." Robert A. Rosholt, Chairman of HCC's Board of Directors, commented, "On behalf of the Board, I would like to extend our deep appreciation to John for his exceptional contributions to HCC over the years. As CEO, he has demonstrated strong leadership, strengthened the Company's balance sheet, developed a strong mix of profitable specialty insurance businesses and positioned the Company for continued profitable growth. We are also pleased with the execution of the CEO succession plan put in place by the Board in May 2011. John has prepared Chris to serve as a strong successor, and the Board is confident that Chris and Bill Burke will build upon the strong foundation that has been established at HCC. The Board looks forward to John's continued contributions to the Company and as a member of the Board."