WellPoint CEO Braly resigns amid shareholder scrutiny

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After coming under fire from shareholders and analysts for her management of WellPoint, Angela Braly has resigned from the chief executive post of the second largest insurer, the Associated Press reported.

John Cannon, WellPoint's general counsel, will step in as interim president and CEO until the company finds a permanent replacement, the insurer announced late last night.

The resignation comes amid public complaints from shareholders and investors about what they see as Braly's leadership failures and "management missteps" that caused the company's poor performance. In July, the company saw second-quarter net income fall 8 percent--the fifth consecutive quarter its earnings dropped year-over-year, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

The management change was somewhat unexpected, as most companies don't remove leadership in the middle of a major acquisition, notably WellPoint's $4.9 billion purchase of Amerigroup last month.  

However, the insurer intends to follow through with actions led by Braly, including the recent acquisitions of Amerigroup, CareMore and 1-800-CONTACTS, regardless of the resignation, according to the announcement.

"[N]ow is the right time for a leadership change," WellPoint's Lead Director Jackie M. Ward said in a statement. "We believe the remaining executive team is dynamic and strong with great potential to drive WellPoint's future success."

The insurer hired an executive search firm to help find a candidate to fill the role of president and CEO, the AP noted.

For more:
- read the WellPoint statement

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