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WellPoint's Angela Braly resigns as CEO

WellPoint's Angela Braly resigns as CEO
Angela Braly resigned as CEO under pressure from shareholder (Ann Heisenfelt / Associated Press)

Angela Braly, the chief executive of WellPoint Inc., resigned late Tuesday after intense pressure from shareholders who have been unhappy with the company's performance.

WellPoint announced that John Cannon, its general counsel, would temporarily fill the CEO role until a replacement is chosen. Cannon is not seeking the role permanently.

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WellPoint, one of nation's biggest insurance companies, is the parent of Woodland Hills-based Anthem Blue Cross.

"Now is the right time for a leadership change," Jackie M. Ward, the company's lead director, said in a statement. "We believe the remaining executive team is dynamic and strong, with great potential to drive WellPoint's future success."

Shareholders have been vocal in their dissatisfaction with the performance of the company under Braly. They have decried the company's lagging stock, managerial missteps and disappointing earnings.

Still, the timing of Braly’s resignation is a bit unusual in that WellPoint agreed last month to purchase Medicare provider Amerigroup Corp. for $4.9 billion. It is uncommon for companies undergoing a significant acquisition to change leadership so soon after the announcement of a deal.

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