Health Care and Insurers and Insurance and WellPoint and Health Care & Life Sciences and Health Care & Insurance

Two more WellPoint executives set to depart

December 3, 2010

WellPoint Inc.’s management team will shrink to eight following the departures of two more top executives.

Cynthia Miller, the health insurer’s chief actuary, and Bradley Fluegel, chief strategy officer, are both leaving the company, according to a WellPoint securities document filed Thursday. It did not precisely say when the officers would leave the Indianapolis-based company.

Both executives, along with CEO Angela Braly, played prominent public roles when the company became the center of controversy in the health care reform debate.

Miller appeared with Braly before Congress to defend premium hikes on individual customers in California.

Fluegel handled WellPoint’s government relations during the 10-month reform debate. That debate ended with President Obama signing a mammoth bill in March—six weeks after he revived it by painting WellPoint as the poster child for health insurers’ bad behavior.

“WellPoint is making several management changes as it prepares for 2011 and positions the organization to deliver even greater health care value in a post health care reform operating environment,” WellPoint’s securities filing said. “These changes will help WellPoint streamline its operations and lower administrative costs by consolidating work for greater efficiency and effectiveness.”

Miller and Fluegel’s departures follow the exit of Dijuana Lewis, who clashed with Braly after Braly shifted some of Lewis’ duties to another executive, Lori Beer. In October Lewis was terminated “without cause” but was helping with the transition of her duties to others within the company.

In place of Miller, WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt will assume responsibility for the Actuarial group.

Fluegel’s government relations and communications duties will be assumed by General Counsel John Cannon and his strategic and marketing oversight will be handled by Brian Sassi, WellPoint’s president of consumer business.

In addition on Thursday, WellPoint it will back its annual profit forecast during meetings with analysts and investors over the next few days.

The company said in November that it expected a profit of at least $6.60 per share in 2010. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, WellPoint said it will maintain that forecast. Its estimate includes gains on investments worth 18 cents per share, and an asset impairment charge of 3 cents per share.

Analysts expect a profit of $6.54 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

WellPoint's stock was down $1.36, or 2.3 percent, in mid-morning trading, to $57.08 per share.


 

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