In a management shuffle, FHP International Corp. on Thursday named Jack R. Anderson, an outside director, as its board chairman, succeeding Dr. Robert Gumbiner, the founder.
Westcott W. Price III, 56, remains vice chairman and chief executive of the stagnant health maintenance company.
Stock analysts expect that Anderson, 70, will push for cost cuts and the sale of certain FHP operations, or possibly seek a buyer for the entire company.
Analysts said that among other problems, FHP has high operating costs, partly because it runs and staffs its own hospitals and clinics. The company could save money by contracting out those services, they said.
Anderson and FHP executives were not available for comment.
Anderson, president of a Dallas health-care consulting and investing company, was formerly chairman of TakeCare Inc., an HMO company that FHP acquired last year. He was elected to the FHP board in 1994.
Investors have been disappointed with FHP's stock performance since the acquisition of TakeCare.
Mary O'Connell, an analyst at Louis Nicoud Associates in San Francisco, said that FHP's stock price has dropped 12.9% in the last year to $22 at the close of trading Thursday on the Nasdaq market. The stocks of 20 other major HMO companies she tracks were off only 2.3% during that period.
Gumbiner, 72, was elected chairman emeritus. The company also said that Mark Hacken, 59, who previously served as a co-chief executive with Price, has resigned from the board.