Who: Kenneth Burdick, 56
New role: CEO of WellCare Health Plans, effective Jan. 1. WellCare, based in Tampa, Fla., is a publicly traded health insurer that offers Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare exchange plans.
Previous roles: Burdick joined WellCare last January as president of national health plans. He was promoted to president and COO in June. Prior to WellCare, Burdick was CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, but he was pushed out after only a half-year on the job because of inadequate disclosure of “business activities” and differences in leadership style, BCBS said at the time. He also worked at UnitedHealth Group and Coventry Health Care.
WellCare's financial issues: Profit declined 58% in the first nine months of 2014, even though revenue increased 35%, with high costs associated with the system's Medicaid members hurting the bottom line. Executives recently said they have a “ways to go” to get their Medicaid business back to expected profit margins.
Burdick's view going forward: “I'm very optimistic about WellCare's mission and direction. We are making great progress on our strategic plan.”
Wall Street's view: WellCare now “has experienced hands in its two highest executive positions,” one analyst said. Andrew Asher, a former financial executive at Aetna and Coventry, officially took over as CFO in November.