IBJNews

WellPoint dismisses former interim-CEO Cannon

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

John Cannon, the man credited with righting the ship at WellPoint Inc., was terminated without cause this week, the company disclosed in a securities filing Friday morning.

The Indianapolis-based health insurer said Cannon will remain with the company until early March to help in the transition of his duties as general counsel and chief public affairs officer.

“We wish John well, and thank him for his many contributions to the organization during his tenure,” WellPoint spokeswoman Kristin Binns wrote in an email Friday. She declined to explain why Cannon was dismissed or to make Cannon available for comment.

Cannon, 60, served as WellPoint’s interim CEO from August 2012, when the company’s board ousted CEO Angela Braly under pressure from investors, until March 2013, when current CEO Joe Swedish took the helm.

Last year, Swedish dismissed Lori Beer, who was head of the specialty business unit at WellPoint. Also, after three WellPoint board members suddenly resigned shortly after Swedish became CEO, he appointed two of his friends to replace them.

During his seven-month tenure, Cannon reorganized WellPoint into four business units, completed the $4.9 billion acquisition and integration of Virginia-based Amerigroup Corp. and greatly improved what was described by WellPoint employees as a poor culture inside its corporate operation, which is headquartered on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle.

Wall Street analysts, and even Swedish, credited Cannon with getting WellPoint's earnings back on track before Swedish arrived.

Cannon was paid an annual salary of $625,000, according to WellPoint's 2013 proxy statement. His total compensation in 2012, the most recent figures available, was nearly $6.5 million, due in part to extra compensation given him for his tenure as interim CEO.

According to WellPoint’s 2013 proxy, Cannon is due to receive more than $4.9 million if he is terminated without cause.

Cannon was hired by Braly, who had also been WellPoint’s general counsel before becoming CEO, in late 2007. He came from Philadelphia-based Cigna Corp., where he worked for 19 years, ultimately becoming deputy general counsel.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Been There
    Predictable! As a turn-around expert, I also experienced the fate of Mr. Cannon. Corporate Boards expect leaders hike Mr. Cannon to do the dirty work, and right the ship. Then they fire is butt, probably because he made the current CEO look like a loser, who cannot measure up to Mr. Cannon's accomplishments.
  • Nice Parachute
    Corporate politics can sometimes be as strange as governmental politics. A $4.9 million parachute doesn't seem too bad.l
  • WellPoint has this history
    Thsi does not surprise me as I know several employees that get terminated and they will never say WHY? Lame if you ask me..

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:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. On my rental property, before tax caps, I was paying $2,000/yr in property taxes. After the tax caps I'm paying $4,000/yr. How exactly am I "benefiting the most"?

  2. Nick, I too tried that new Walmart NM on Michigan a couple of weeks ago. I had the same feeling, it had good prices, but something was just off about it. I can't put my finger on what it is, but it just didn't feel right. On the plus side, it was easy to get in and out of and much less busy than a typical Walmart.

  3. @Young Hoosier - you might want to check out the Paris skyline again....it's decidedly taller than 7-8 stories http://all-that-is-interesting.com/paris-skyline-photo

  4. Are you in need of Loan or financial help?, you need a loan for your business or to solve other monetary issues. James Lewis Loan Company started offering loans with a very low interest rate of 3% for a minimum of 15 years, Interested applicants should submit their request via email (jameslewisloan@gmail.com) for immediate processing with the information listed below: Names in full:................ Address:...................... Gender:.................... Email:........................ Phone Number:....... Amount Required:... Loan Duration:....... Country:................. Occupation:.................. ================================== In acknowledgment to these details, I will send you a well calculated Terms and Conditions for the amount you require. Warm Regards, Mr James Lewis

  5. So the GOP legislature passed a bill that gave big breaks to business at the expense of Indiana families. Color us not surprised.

ADVERTISEMENT