The board of directors of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) has elected President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Swedish to also serve as chairman. He succeeds George Shaefer, who will continue as independent lead director of the board.
The move comes in advance of the expected $54 billion merger with Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI), which was approved last week by shareholders of both companies. The deal received 99 percent approval. If the Cigna acquisition receives necessary regulatory approvals, Swedish is expected to continue in all three roles with the combined business. The merger is anticipated to close mid-next year.
Swedish took the reins of the insurance provider in 2013. Shaefer says "during his tenure at Anthem, Joe has built a strong record of success through a commitment to leadership, vision and innovation. His accomplishments are even more notable given the highly transformative state of healthcare today. This additional appointment serves to recognize Joe’s significant achievements in leading Anthem and reflects the board’s confidence in Joe’s leadership moving forward as we work to ensure the successful integration of the Cigna business and following the close of the acquisition."