WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) today announced that its board of directors has elected Joseph Swedish as the company's new chief executive officer, effective March 25, 2013. Swedish, 61, who most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Trinity Health Corporation, succeeds interim chief executive officer John Cannon. Cannon will remain with WellPoint, and in addition to his role as Executive Vice President of Legal & Public Affairs he will help guide the transition, providing continuity and operational leadership.
“Joe embodies the leadership and visionary qualities we value in our chief executive, and the board is confident that under his leadership we will achieve our full potential for future growth and success,” said Jackie M. Ward, chair of the WellPoint Board of Directors. “He brings to WellPoint an extensive track record leading large, complex health care organizations through diverse challenges in difficult market and regulatory environments, and his experience will be invaluable to WellPoint as we continue to find innovative ways to collaborate with providers in an effort to improve quality outcomes and reduce the cost of care. Joe’s background, in concert with our management’s insurance market expertise, creates a team uniquely qualified to manage all facets of our evolving health care system.
“In 24 years as a CEO, he has had tremendous success growing and advancing health care systems by improving core operations, initiating financial restructurings, and expertly integrating strategic mergers and acquisitions,” Ward said. “He is an agile leader at a time when major transformations are requiring health benefit companies to examine new ways to better serve our stakeholders.”
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