Mary O'Keefe, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at The Principal Financial Group Inc., will retire in June after 24 years with the company.


O'Keefe, 57, joined The Principal in 1990 and was named to her current position in 2004. She is responsible for corporate marketing, branding, communications and corporate giving and has held several senior leadership roles, including having responsibility for human resources and corporate strategic development.


"Mary's hard work and dedication has had a major positive impact on The Principal and our communities. We thank Mary for her years of service and wish her the best," CEO Larry Zimpleman said in a news release.


As part of her community leadership role for Principal, O'Keefe led the development and construction of The Principal Riverwalk along the Des Moines River downtown and chairs the Principal Charity Classic. 


O'Keefe was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2012 and honored for her work to increase employment opportunities for veterans with the Seven Seals Award, the highest civilian recognition awarded jointly by all seven U.S. military branches. She has served on the boards of and led fundraising efforts for numerous community and state organizations.


Outside of work and her civic involvement, O'Keefe enjoys showing horses. Her hobby was featured in the Business Record's 2012 photo issue. See photos here

The company plans to conduct both an internal and external search to fill her position.
In addition to the retirement announcement, Principal announced several senior management promotions:
  • Terry Lillis is promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer.

  • Gary Scholten is promoted to executive vice president and chief information officer.

  • Beth Raymond is promoted to senior vice president and chief human resources officer.