Anthem CEO Joe Swedish leaves post at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about five years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Swedish
  • Gail Boudreaux taking over
  • Swedish will remain as Executive Chairman at Anthem
  • Swedish made a lengthy statement and said 70 words

(exechange) — Indianapolis, Indiana, November 06, 2017 — Joe Swedish, chief executive of Anthem, leaves the position. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Anthem, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, November 06, 2017, Joseph R. (Joe) Swedish leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the health insurance company after about five years in the position, effective November 19, 2017.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months was 8.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Swedish’s duties are taken over by Gail Boudreaux, a former Chief Executive Officer at United Healthcare.

The fact that Swedish’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“Gail brings the right skills for the times”

A reason for Swedish’s imminent departure from the post of CEO was not explicitly given. George A. Schaefer, Jr., Lead Independent Director, said: “The Anthem Board is confident Gail will draw from her extensive experience to deliver strong operating performance, excellent financial results and a laser focus on customer experience and shareholder value. In an evolving industry, Gail brings the right skills for the times.”

Swedish will remain as Executive Chairman at Anthem

“Joseph R. Swedish, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Anthem, will serve as Executive Chairman, Anthem Board of Directors, stepping down in May 2018, and serve as Senior Advisor through May 2020,” Anthem said.

Share price rise since October 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Anthem, Inc. since October 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Joseph R. Swedish has been a director since March 2013 when he was appointed the Company’s CEO.

He was named Chair of the Company’s Board in December 2015.

Prior to his appointment, Swedish served as President and CEO of Trinity Health Corporation (“Trinity”) (multi-state integrated health care delivery system) from 2004 to 2013.

Prior to his service at Trinity, Swedish was President and CEO of Centura Health (large health care provider) from 1999 to 2004.

Swedish served as a director of Coventry Health Care, Inc. (health insurance company) from 2010 to February 2013, Venzke Insurance Services, Ltd. from 2004 to March 2013, Cross Country Health Care, Inc. (health care staffing company) from 2002 to 2005, RehabCare Group, Inc. (health care services company) from 2003 to 2005, and BankFirst (community bank) from 1995 to 1999.

Swedish has served as a director of CDW Corporation (technology) since August 2015.

He also serves as a director of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the National Institute for Health Care Management, America’s Health Insurance Plans (Chairman effective January 2017) and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Inc. and as a member of the Business Roundtable, the Business Council, the Board of Visitors of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and the Duke Margolis External Advisory Board.

He also previously served as chair of the Catholic Health Association and on the Board of Loyola University Chicago.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Joe Swedish’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 46.2017 ($).