CEO: WellPoint consolidation to improve execution, accountability

After only two months on the job, WellPoint CEO Joseph Swedish is shaking up the company's management, consolidating its business into two primary units. The reorganization comes a few days after three WellPoint board members resigned for personal reasons.

One of the groups, called the commercial and specialty business division, now includes WellPoint's commercial health insurance, including group and individual plans, plus its specialty businesses, such as dental and vision care and its 1-800 Contacts business, reported the Associated Press.

The other unit, newly named the government business division, will address government insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. In the next 90 days, Swedish's management team will develop a plan optimizing the government unit's operating structure. Of particular interest are dual-eligible members who represent a major, but complex, emerging business opportunity,  The Wall Street Journal reported.

Consolidating four business groups into two divisions will help "enhance ... execution and accountability," Swedish said in a memo to employees on Monday. Swedish added that he wants to improve how WellPoint uses technology and analyze the company's strategic priorities, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Despite the reorganization, Ana Gupte, an analyst for investment research firm Dowling & Partners, said in a research note that "we would have expected more change and view this as somewhat of a lost opportunity to strengthen the bench and succession slate," the AP reported.

To learn more:
- read the Wall Street Journal article
- see the Associated Press article
- check out the Indianapolis Star article