Anthem President and CEO Joseph Swedish added another title to his nameplate this week. The health insurer's board of directors named him chairman of the board.
Swedish has been with Anthem since 2013, leaving his job as CEO of hospital system Trinity Health to succeed former Anthem leader Angela Braly. In the two-plus years at the helm, Swedish changed the company's name from WellPoint to Anthem, oversaw large gains in profitability and helped forge what's poised to be the largest U.S. health insurance merger. This past summer, Anthem agreed to acquire Cigna in a deal valued at $54 billion after months of tense negotiations and publicly aired frustration.
George Schaefer had served as Anthem's most recent board chair. Schaefer will continue to work with the Indianapolis-based insurer as an independent director.
While it's common for a CEO to also be the chair, many companies are trying to avoid the practice to prevent putting too much governing power into one seat. About 53% of companies say they split the CEO and board chair roles, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2015 corporate director survey.
Swedish, who made $13.5 million in 2014, will relinquish the title of president to Cigna CEO David Cordani if the pending deal with Cigna closes next year.