Wel­lpoint elects Swedish to three-year board term

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - — Jonathan Block

Wel­lPoint share­hold­ers last week elected newly minted CEO Joseph Swedish to a three-year term on the com­pany’s board of di­rec­tors. Three di­rec­tors re­signed in the days lead­ing up to the May 15 an­nual meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to a fil­ing with the U.S. Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion: Dr. Lenox Baker Jr., Su­san Bayh and Sheila Burke. All cited per­sonal rea­sons. Last year, the com­pany was un­der pres­sure from ac­tivist share­hold­ers who were dis­sat­is­fied with the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance, cul­mi­nat­ing in the Au­gust res­ig­na­tion of CEO An­gela Braly. Swedish as­sumed lead­er­ship March 25. CtW In­vest­ment Group, a share­holder group af­fil­i­ated with the la­bor coali­tion Change to Win, sought the re­moval of Bayh dur­ing the 2012 an­nual meet­ing, say­ing she had not dis­closed de­tails of po­lit­i­cal spend­ing and po­ten­tial con­flicts of in­ter­est. Bayh’s hus­band is for­mer U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), now a part­ner at the law firm McGuire Woods and a con­sul­tant for the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce. Wel­lPoint spokes­woman Kristin Binns de­clined to comment on the res­ig­na­tions and de­ferred to the SEC fil­ing. Baker, a car­diac and tho­racic sur­geon, had served as Wel­lPoint’s di­rec­tor since 2002. He is pres­i­dent of the Mid-At­lantic Car­dio­tho­racic Sur­geons, based in Nor­folk, Va. Burke, a Wel­lPoint di­rec­tor for the past 16 years, is a se­nior pol­icy ad­viser on health­care at law firm Baker Donel­son in Wash­ing­ton.

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