WellPoint narrows CEO search to two candidates

Working toward selecting a new chief executive, WellPoint has narrowed down its choices to two candidates--former Aetna CEO Ron Williams and Amerigroup CEO Jim Carlson, reported the Indianapolis Business Journal. But JPMorgan Chase analyst Justin Lake suspects WellPoint will hire Williams. "He has a very strong operating background, is known and respected by investors from his time at Aetna, actually has previous experience at WellPoint [as president of its Blue Cross of California health plan], BCBS connections, and we personally see him as a solid innovative and strategic thinker," Lake said in a research note. He predicts WellPoint will appoint the new CEO in the first quarter of next year, which is when Williams' non-compete clause with Aetna will expire. WellPoint has all but eliminated other candidates, including former Medco Health CEO David Snow, and two internal executives, Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt and Head of Commercial Business Ken Goulet. Article