Wellpoint CFO resigns amid misconduct allegations

David Colby has resigned as chief financial officer of Wellpoint, parent corporation of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire, after alleged breaches of the company’s code of conduct.

The nation’s largest health insurer said in a statement that an investigation conducted by “external legal counsel” had found the violations were not business-related, and that the “the company will make no further comment on the circumstances resulting in the resignation.”

Wellpoint officials also said that no other employees “resigned in connection with Colby’s departure.”

The board of directors named chief accounting officer Wayne DeVeydt as Colby’s successor, effective immediately.

Colby has been CFO of Wellpoint since November 2004, when Anthem merged with Wellpoint Health Networks to form Wellpoint Inc. Prior to the merger, he was CFO of Wellpoint Health Networks since September 1997.

In early March, Colby was named vice chairman and received a stock option grant for 40,000 shares of common stock and a restricted stock award for 20,000 shares, with an annual salary of $740,000, according to Wellpoint securities filings.

Industry analysts also said at the time that Colby was “well-regarded by Wall Street,” and speculated that the promotion and stock options were to soften the blow when he was passed over for the corner office.

In 2006, Colby was named the best chief financial officer in the country for three years in a row by Institutional Investor magazine, which surveyed nearly 1,400 industry professionals.

“I fully expect the rest of our management team to remain together,” said Angela Braly, Wellpoint’s incoming president and CEO, who was named in late February to replace Larry Glasscock, who retires from the post today. — CINDY KIBBE

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