By Reuters
November 4, 2017

Health insurer Anthem’s CEO Joseph Swedish will step down and be succeeded by industry veteran Gail Boudreaux, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

It is unclear how quickly the transition will occur, but the plan is expected to be announced as soon as next week, the publication reported. Anthem was not immediately available for comment.

Gail Boudreaux is well-known among managed-care investors and has served as CEO of United Healthcare, a unit of the largest U.S. health insurer UnitedHealth Group.

Swedish, who has served about four years at Anthem, was behind the insurer’s $54 billion merger proposal with smaller rival Cigna, which was ultimately called off due to regulatory issues.

The deal would have created the largest U.S. health insurer by membership.

Through Friday, Anthem shares had climbed about 47% this year to $211.80, compared with UnitedHealth’s 33% rise to $212.87.

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