Although I think he is on the insider shortlist (the other being Ken Goulet), I think Wayne’s star power has faded over the past year. He was at the table and involved with every decision, good or bad, that ultimately led to Angela’s departure. Plus, he has been a big proponent of buy backs, which has recently received a lot of negative press coverage. And, with UNH closing the gap between the two stock prices, I can see him getting some of that blame.
What this company really needs is someone who understands how to sell to individual consumers and how to execute operations. I don’t think Wayne brings that to the position. Angela relied too heavily on the wrong people over the years and it cost her. I don’t think she had the operational experience that was needed for the role. Plus, she seemed to have a revolving door of executives. I never understood why she kept Brian Sassi for so long when what seemed like every year, some part of his organization would drop the ball, but terminate other steady performers on her staff.
Regardless, I don’t think they are in a rush to fill the role. If I were to guess, 3Q earnings is not going to be good, which is why I think Angela’s departure occurred as quickly as it did.
He is a smart guy and a strong leader who guides his people rather than sit on their shoulder doing their job. He had the courage to do some different things at the company and understood that the culture needed to change. I think many of the problems the company faced had to do with the complex infrastructure (too many claims platforms, data warehouses, etc.) that should have been standardized years ago, and long before Wayne joined the company. I think he could do a great job, but think the company will go outside. And Ken Goulet is not the right guy for the job, at all!
You are right -- "big proponent of buy backs". That is all he did -- year after year after year -- and what good did it do? We will never ever see a $90 Wellpoint again. As far as I can see -- he needs to go out with Angela -- he has done nothing for the company except rake in huge salary, bonus and stock. There are some sharp Finance people in that company -- being paid pittance -- who could do a better job. My sentiment is obviously: BAD FIT FOR CEO -- GET RID OF HIM AS CFO!
Although I have now been away from the company for a few years I am very aware of the rush to outsource and fire older long term employees with knowledge and experience. I think WLP has put itself in a very bad position for the long term and it is going to be hard to overcome the lack of talent that exists with this company. I believe that Wayne DeVeydt played a key role in these short term and short sighted decisions that were designed to boost profits for the short term with out any concern for the long term affects from firing the higher paid more talented workers and hiring in experienced and cheaper labor. It appears Wall Street has figured this out when UNH got the nod for DOW. WLP is the other large player with the BCBS symbols, but is fading fast and could not make it happen.