NU Online News Service, Oct. 24, 12:15 p.m. – WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Aetna Inc., Hartford, say they have resolved an executive hiring dispute.

Aetna announced in March that it had named Ronald Williams, previously head of the large group division at WellPoint, to serve as an executive vice president.

WellPoint responded in August by suing Aetna in federal court, alleging that Aetna had violated a one-year, Aug. 11, 2000, agreement prohibiting it from hiring WellPoint employees.

“Aetna and WellPoint have resolved by mutual agreement their differences, and WellPoint has withdrawn its recently filed lawsuit,” the companies said in a statement issued earlier today. “No further comments will be made by either company.”