CANTON — Cain A. Hayes, the new chief executive of Point32Health, describes himself as the kind of person who gets energy from being around others. But given the complicated state of the world during the COVID pandemic, Hayes began his job when nearly all of his employees were working from home.

In this unusual environment, Hayes, a seasoned executive and newcomer to Massachusetts, is responsible for bringing together two of the state’s best-known health insurers — Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care — and leading the company created earlier this year through their merger.

The company, Point32Health, didn’t exist when employees were last in the office.

“I like to think about us as a $9 billion startup,” Hayes said in an interview at Point32Health’s corporate office in Canton. “We’re actually building a new culture because it’s a new company.”

Hayes is now also among a relatively small group of CEOs of major companies in Massachusetts who are Black, a responsibility he said he doesn’t take lightly, as the company seeks to expand its work in health equity…

Amy Rosenthal, executive director of Health Care For All, a consumer advocacy group that initially raised concerns about the Tufts-Harvard Pilgrim merger, said she met with Hayes soon after he arrived and is eager to work with him.

“His commitment to ‘total health’ creates opportunities to focus on a number of issues that are important to Health Care For All, including behavioral health, social determinants of health, and the affordability and accessibility of care,” she said in a statement.

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