Michael Smith resigned as chief financial officer of Anthem, Indianapolis, after the closure Tuesday of the health insurer's long-delayed $16.4 billion acquisition of WellPoint Health Networks, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The combined company, named WellPoint, plans to announce its new executive team within the next several days, according to the company's Web site. Smith, who joined Anthem in 1996 and had served as CFO since April 1999, was Anthem's second-highest paid executive last year, earning $17.5 million in total dollar compensation. He also held $322,000 in stock options as of Dec. 31, 2003.
At deadline, the size of Smith's severance package wasn't available. Under terms of the merger, 293 executives are eligible to receive retention and severance bonuses that could total up to $356 million, not including options. The scope of the bonuses, which came to light several months after the proposed deal was announced, became a major point of contention and helped delay the close of the sale. The new company is the nation's largest health insurer with 28 million members. -- by Laura B. Benko