Health insurer WellPoint (WLP) chair and chief executive Angela Braly has stepped down from her post.

The company has appointed John Cannon, the company’s executive vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief public affairs officer, to serve as interim president and CEO.

Meanwhile, the company is considering both internal and external candidates in addition to taking help from a search committee to discover a suitable CEO.

WellPoint also named Jackie Ward, its current lead director, as the newest non-executive chair of the board of directors effective immediately.

Ward added, "Our Board continues to believe that time will prove the wisdom of potentially transformative actions taken under Angela’s leadership, from the sale of the pharmacy benefit management business to Express Scripts to the recent and proposed acquisitions of CareMore, 1-800-CONTACTS and Amerigroup."

Under the leadership of Braly, who served as CEO of WellPoint since 2007, the company has recently proposed the purchase of Amerigroup Corp (AGP) for $4.46bn.