WellPoint shareholders last week elected newly minted CEO Joseph Swedish to a three-year term on the company's board of directors. Three directors resigned in the days leading up to the May 15 annual meeting, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Dr. Lenox Baker Jr., Susan Bayh and Sheila Burke. All cited personal reasons. Last year, the company was under pressure from activist shareholders who were dissatisfied with the company's financial performance, culminating in the August resignation of CEO Angela Braly. Swedish assumed leadership March 25. CtW Investment Group, a shareholder group affiliated with the labor coalition Change to Win, sought the removal of Bayh during the 2012 annual meeting, saying she had not disclosed details of political spending and potential conflicts of interest. Bayh's husband is former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), now a partner at the law firm McGuire Woods and a consultant for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. WellPoint spokeswoman Kristin Binns declined to comment on the resignations and deferred to the SEC filing. Baker, a cardiac and thoracic surgeon, had served as WellPoint's director since 2002. He is president of the Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons, based in Norfolk, Va. Burke, a WellPoint director for the past 16 years, is a senior policy adviser on healthcare at law firm Baker Donelson in Washington.
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