Compensation and Public Companies and Insurance and WellPoint and Health Care & Life Sciences and Health Care & Insurance

After disagreement, Lewis leaves WellPoint with $3.2M

October 27, 2010
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Dijuana Lewis will get nearly $3.2 million on her way out the door at WellPoint Inc. after striking an unusual—even bizarre—deal with the company to be dismissed from her duties but stay on for the next two months to help her successor.

Lewis, 51, had been running Indianapolis-based WellPoint’s comprehensive health business solutions unit, which in various ways supported WellPoint’s commercial and consumer lines of health insurance.

But CEO Angela Braly shifted some of Lewis’ duties overseeing operations this month to Lori Beer, who was promoted from chief information officer to run a new unit called Enterprise Business Solutions. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Lewis objected to the change and made her feelings known to Braly.

On Oct. 19—11 days after the announcement about Beer—Lewis was “terminated without cause,” according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Sources said the decision was mutual.

Lewis was WellPoint’s fourth highest-paid executive, earning a salary in 2009 of $650,000 and a bonus of $200,000 for overseeing WellPoint’s sale of its pharmacy benefit management unit, NextRx. With stock and perks, her total compensation last year was $4.4 million.

Her duties, which included WellPoint’s contracting with doctors and hospitals, will be handled temporarily by Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint’s chief medical officer.

Lewis' severance package, as detailed in WellPoint securities filings, is nearly all in cash, but also includes continuation of health insurance and "executive benefits," as well as outplacement help.

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