Highmark names acting CEO after Melani is charged
Highmark named J. Robert Baum, the insurer’s board chairman and a University of Maryland professor, acting CEO after Dr. Kenneth Melani, Highmark’s president and CEO, was charged with assault and trespass. Melani was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending a board meeting in coming days, the Pittsburghbased company said in a statement announcing Baum’s appointment. Melani faces charges for defiant trespass, a thirddegree misdemeanor, and simple assault, a second-degree misdemeanor, according to his attorney, Robert Del Greco Jr. “We regret that this situation arose,” Baum said in a written statement. “The board is fully committed to Highmark’s mission and the business strategies that will guide us going forward. I’m working closely with Highmark’s excellent and experienced senior leadership team to address our top priorities, including: securing a multiyear contract with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, completing our proposed affiliation with the West Penn Allegheny Health System, and preparing for the many challenges that healthcare reform brings to the marketplace.” A criminal complaint alleges that Melani fought with the husband of a woman with whom Melani was having an affair, the Pittsburgh Post-gazette reported.