Centene Corp. Chief Executive Michael Neidorff will take a medical leave of absence effective immediately for what he called a treatable medical condition, according to a company


Neidorff had earlier announced plans to


retire in 2022 and remain as chairman through the end of the year. He has led the company for 26 years.

The health insurers day-to-day operations will be managed by senior executives in an expanded office of the chairman, the company said. James Dallas will become acting chairman.

The leadership team, reporting to Dallas, will include:

  • Sarah London, vice chairman
  • Brent Layton, president and chief operating officer
  • Drew Asher, chief financial officer
  • Shannon Bagley, chief administrative officer.

Centene said it expects to choose a new CEO in the first half of this year. The shares were unchanged in post-market trading in New York after closing down 0.6% Thursday.