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WellCare Mini-Shuffle in C-Suite

WellCare Health Plans

Dave Gallitano, chairman of WellCare Health Plans Inc., seems to be settling into the role  of CEO that he's been filling on an interim basis with the announcement that Kenneth A. Burdick has been named president and chief operating officer.

WellCare has not officially called off the national search for a CEO. But Stifel analyst Tom Carroll said it looks as though Gallitano is comfortable in the role.

"In our view, any bonafide search for a new CEO is all but over," Carroll wrote in a note to investors Thursday. While the company may continue to suggest the search is ongoing, he wrote, "we believe this is simply lip service..."

As for Burdick's promotion, Carroll said, "We believe this is simply the formalization of a role Mr. Burdick has been filling for some time."

Burdick, who joined WellCare at the end of January, had been president of national health plans. He will now oversee operations and clinical services. Mike Polen, senior vice president for operations, and Dr. Steve Goldberg, senior vice president and chief medical officer, will report to Burdick.

Gallitano was named interim CEO in November, replacing Alec Cunningham; at the time, the company said it was conducting a national search for a new CEO and was expected to name a successor during the second or third quarter of 2014.