IBJNews

NEWSMAKERS: Joe Swedish

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
More
Stories
ExactTarget sells for eye-popping<br />$2.5 billion City finally lands development for<br />Market Square Employers prep for Obamacare Cultural Trail opens, fuels development Wishard morphs into Eskenazi Hospital Apartment craze shows no signs<br />of slowing Whole Foods-anchored project<br />causes stir in Broad Ripple Courtroom drama features local names IMS CEO makes big moves, wins state aid Indy scores pro soccer team City makes list of finalists to host 2018<br />Super Bowl


Newsmakers
2013 NEWSMAKER: Scott Dorsey 2013 NEWSMAKER: Andrew Luck 2013 Newsmakers: Tony Bennett
                              &<br />Glenda Ritz 2013 NEWSMAKER: Mitch Daniels 2013 NEWSMAKER: Joe Swedish

When Joe Swedish was named the next CEO of WellPoint Inc., investors frowned.

How could a lifetime hospital executive be the right person to lead the Indianapolis-based insurance giant through the implementation of Obamacare, one of the most uncertain times in the company’s history?

Swedish Swedish

“WellPoint had a lay-up, but the board chose to increase the degree of difficulty instead,” Citigroup analyst Carl McDonald told investors.

But pretty soon, investors didn’t care. Swedish sounded capable enough in his presentations to investors, who had soured on his predecessor, Angela Braly, after repeated miscues.

“WellPoint now has an adult in the room,” said Rob Medway, a partner at Royal Capital Management LLC, which holds a stake in WellPoint, after listening to Swedish talk to investors at a conference.

It also helped that the markets overall fell back in love with health insurance stocks. From March 25, the day Swedish took the helm, until Dec. 18, WellPoint’s shares rose 39 percent.

That was the second-best performance among the five largest health insurers, behind only Louisville-based Humana Inc. The major health insurers far outpaced the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in 2013.

Swedish benefited from improvements made by WellPoint’s lead attorney, John Cannon, who served as interim CEO after Braly’s departure in August 2012.

That positioned WellPoint to post better-than-expected profits this year, which were also helped by slower-than-expected rises in overall health care spending. WellPoint’s profits during the first three quarters of the year totaled $656 million, down 5 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Swedish is bullish on Obamacare. While the law will pinch WellPoint’s profit margins, he predicted the law’s subsidization of health insurance will send WellPoint’s revenue soaring to $90 billion in 2016.

—J.K. Wall

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

ADVERTISEMENT