Swedish said in a news release that DeVeydt informed him of his intent to step down earlier this year “to spend more time with his family and to focus on charitable causes which have become increasingly important to him.” The company said the C-suite change has nothing to do with its pending Cigna deal or financial operations. Anthem and Express Scripts Holding Co. also are involved in a nasty legal feud over terms of their drug pricing agreement.
“Given the progress we have made with regard to the regulatory review of our Cigna acquisition and the work underway to identify the new leadership team for the combined company, Wayne felt that it would be best to step down from his role at this point,” Swedish said.
DeVeydt has helped build Anthem, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee formerly known as WellPoint, into the $79 billion health insurance empire it is today. DeVeydt, along with ousted CEO Angela Braly, pushed Anthem prominently into Medicaid managed care in 2012 with the $4.9 billion purchase of Amerigroup. Last summer, Swedish and DeVeydt unveiled the $54 billion deal to absorb Cigna, the largest such proposed deal in health insurance history. Last May, DeVeydt actually hinted a big transaction was coming when he said Anthem has the capacity to make a “meaningful” acquisition.
Anthem has continued to express confidence the Cigna acquisition will close in the second half of this year, approximately a year after the two insurance giants announced the deal. The Justice Department and state insurance regulators have been reviewing the transaction, along with Aetna's proposed acquisition of Humana, for several months.
Anthem has won several state approvals, but hospitals, doctors, lawmakers, consumers and academics have railed against the merger, arguing it will stifle competition and lead to higher premiums.
DeVeydt's compensation in 2015 was almost $4.9 million, and he has earned approximately $17.8 million over the past three years. Anthem gave Gallina a base salary of $750,000 and $1 million in stock awards and options, and he will be eligible for Anthem's bonuses.