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Sagging Fortunes Cited in Departure Of Humana's CEO

MANAGED CARE September 1999. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Sagging Fortunes Cited in Departure Of Humana's CEO

MANAGED CARE September 1999. ©1999 MediMedia USA

Humana says it will take six months to name a new CEO, following Gregory Wolf's resignation last month to pursue those always-mysterious other interests. Retired CEO and chairman David Jones is back until a successor can be found.

The company wouldn't say what prompted the abrupt end to Wolf's 20-month tenure, but analysts think Humana's poor financial performance this year had a lot to do with it. The company lost $16 million in the first quarter. The day Wolf left Humana, its stock closed at $10.25, less than half its price when Wolf became CEO.

Humana, of course, isn't the only insurer struggling these days. Weiss Ratings says 56 percent of HMOs lost money last year; of the 576 it studied, 100 failed to meet risk-based capital guidelines adopted last year by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Had the NAIC regulations been fully implemented in most states, says Weiss, 37 HMOs would have faced state takeover or been subject to regulatory controls.