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Anthem names industry veteran Gail Boudreaux as new CEO

Anthem on Monday named industry veteran Gail Boudreaux as its new chief executive, replacing Joseph Swedish, who will step down after more than four years at the helm of one of the largest U.S. health insurers.

Boudreaux will take the role on Nov. 20. She recently served as CEO of United Healthcare, a unit of the biggest U.S. health insurer, UnitedHealth.

Boudreaux's appointment is likely to drive Anthem's stock price higher, analysts at Leerink Partners said on Friday, after The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

Swedish will serve as Anthem's executive chairman and step down from that role in May next year. He will be senior adviser through May 2020, the company said.

Swedish orchestrated Anthem's $54 billion merger proposal to smaller rival Cigna in 2015, which was ultimately scrapped due to regulatory issues.