Centene board member steps down, citing need for new approach to leadership

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The late Michael F. Neidoff served as CEO of Centene from 1996 to 2022.

Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

On Friday, Centene Corporation’s board of directors announced that it had accepted the resignation of Leslie V. Norwalk as a board member.

In his resignation letter, Norwalk cited leadership concerns, saying “Centene needs to refresh its approach to leadership,” according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Norwalk said she wasn’t confident any meaningful changes would be made in a timely manner, if at all, according to the report.

Norwalk is the former Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush.

The board said it appreciates Norwalk’s contribution to the business and its services.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Norwalk’s resignation from the board comes a month after Centene announced a new CEO.

Sarah London, vice president of Centene, has been named chief executive, succeeding Michael Neidoff, who served as CEO from 1996 to 2022. Neidorff, 79, died on April 7. He had announced sick leave in February.

London ran the day-to-day management of the business.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, London served as Vice Chair of Centene’s Board of Directors. In her leadership role, she led the company’s technology and digital strategy in addition to leading the Healthcare Enterprises and Specialty, Corporate Strategy, Quality Operations, Internal Audit, Compliance and Risk Management divisions.

Prior to joining Centene in 2020, London was a partner at Optum Ventures, the venture capital arm of UnitedHealth Group. She previously served as Product Manager for Optum Analytics, the business unit responsible for strategy and commercialization of Optum’s integrated data and analytics solutions in the provider, payer and life sciences markets. life.

The board said Friday it remains committed to continuing to strengthen the company’s corporate governance practices.

THE GREAT TREND

Since November 2021, Centene has implemented significant governance improvements, he said, including the appointment of five new board members, renewal of the chairs of the nominating and governance committees, audit and compensation, the separation of the roles of CEO and Chairman, the appointment of a new independent lead director and the establishment of a mandatory retirement age from the Board.

Centene provides government-sponsored and commercial health insurance, focusing on the underinsured and uninsured, including Medicaid and Medicare members, individuals and families on plans under the Care Act affordable, the TRICARE program and people in correctional facilities.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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