American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. announced today that Wendy Waugaman, president and CEO, will take a medical leave of absence.

According to a company press release, she will remain on American Equity's board of directors and will participate in certain management and strategic discussions as her health permits.

Waugaman joined American Equity in June 1999 as chief financial officer and general counsel, and succeeded David Noble as president and CEO in January 2009. John Matovina, the group's chief financial officer, will serve as interim CEO and president.

Matovina has served on American Equity's board of directors since 2000 and as chief financial officer since 2009.