Centene taps London to succeed Michael Neidorff as CEO

Centene Corporation has named Sarah London as its CEO, effective immediately.

Sarah London, CEO of Centene
Sarah London (Centene)

Micheal Neidorff, who has helmed the company since 1996, remains on a medical leave of absence from his role on Centene's board, according to an announcement released late Tuesday by the insurer. Neidorff announced in December that he intended to retire this year.

London will take the CEO chair after serving as vice chairman of Centene's board of directors. She has played a key role in the insurers' ongoing value creation efforts as well as stepping to the forefront while Neidorff stepped back to address his health.

She also previously led Centene's technology and digital strategy as well as its healthcare enterprises and specialty divisions, Centene said.

"Sarah has infused an innovative mindset across the enterprise in her relentless effort to improve Centene's capabilities to provide the highest quality of care for our members," said James Dallas, acting chairman of Centene, in a statement. "I have been consistently impressed by Sarah's passion to serve our members, who are often the most vulnerable amongst us. The Board and I are confident that she is the right visionary leader to increase value for our shareholders and author the next chapter of Centene's growth."

Prior to joining Centene, London was a partner at Optum Ventures, the venture capital arm of UnitedHealth Group's Optum subsidiary.

In a statement, London thanked Neidorff for his service and his 25 years as a "visionary" leader at Centene.

"I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the next CEO of Centene and to work alongside extraordinary colleagues to provide quality healthcare to over 26 million Americans," she said. "The healthcare landscape is rapidly changing, and Centene's mission—to transform the health of our communities one member at a time—has never been more relevant."

"We have a unique opportunity to empower our members, providers, and their communities in this transformation. Together, we can deliver innovative, integrated, and equitable care that meets our members where they live and exceeds their expectations," London added. "I'm excited by the tremendous opportunity to leverage the size and scale of this Company to create true, sustaining value for our members, state partners, employees and shareholders."