Magellan Health Services Inc. of Columbia announced yesterday that President Daniel S. Messina is being named chief executive officer in addition to his current title.
Messina succeeds Henry T. Harbin, who will stay on as the company's board chairman. The transition takes effect Monday.
The promotion is one of a number of changes the company has made in the last year as it has gotten out of the hospital business and shifted its focus to behavioral managed care, Harbin said.
Magellan is hired by HMOs, employers and governments to provide mental health care. It contracts with and pays counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and hospitals. The company serves 70 million people a year and 3,000 client organizations.
Messina has served on the board of Magellan since 1998. In 2000, he served as the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, and this year he became president. Before coming to Magellan, he was chief financial officer and head of business strategy for Aetna U.S. Healthcare, the nation's largest health insurer.
Messina said he will continue to focus on improving the company's finances. The company has undergone a steady financial recovery over the last year as it has sold off unprofitable parts of the business.
Last spring the company had a billion-dollar debt and its stock, which had traded at $30 a share in 1997, closed as low as $3.63. The stock closed yesterday at $10.90, down 15 cents.
The company has also seen improvement in its earnings. For the quarter ending June 30, Magellan earned $7.4 million or 17 cents a share from continuing operations, compared with $3.7 million in revenue, or 8 cents a share the previous year.
"I look forward to taking the company to the next phase," Messina said.
Harbin said the transition will give him time to spend on mental health public policy and other industry issues.
Harbin served as chief executive officer of Green Spring Health Services before coming to Magellan. Magellan bought a controlling interest in Green Spring in 1995.