published Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Biz Briefs: LaunchTN gets Blackstone grant

LaunchTN gets Blackstone grant

LaunchTN, a state-supported agency created to help promote the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee, is getting $100,000 from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to start a "Tennessee Top 10" program for graduates from Tennessee's regional business accelerators, including the CoLab in Chattanooga.

Thirty "master mentors" will be selected to help the entrepreneurs, primarily with expertise in either technology or health care. Charlie Brock, the former CoLab CEO who now leads LaunchTN, praised the Haslam administration's business initiatives for gaining "the attention of such a highly regarded institution."

WellPoint names Swedish as CEO

Health insurer WellPoint Inc. has named a veteran hospital executive who never has run a public company to become its next CEO. The nation's second-biggest health insurer, which operates BlueCross and BlueShield of Georgia, said Tuesday that Trinity Health Corp. CEO Joseph Swedish will take over March 25, replacing interim CEO John Cannon.

Wellpoint has been searching for a leader since Angela Braly resigned last August amid investor frustration over disappointing results. Cannon will remain with the company as executive vice president of legal and public affairs. The 61-year-old Swedish has a resume that includes work with HCA, the nation's largest hospital chain. He also has served as a director for another insurer, Coventry Health Care Inc.

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