Larry Glasscock has taken the reins as chairman of WellPoint Inc., the company says.[@@]

Glasscock succeeds Leonard Schaeffer, who was chairman of the old WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., before WellPoint Health merged with Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, to form the new WellPoint Inc, Indianapolis.

The companies announced around the time that the deal was completed that Schaeffer would start out as chairman of WellPoint Inc. and that Glasscock, the chairman of Anthem, would start out as the president of WellPoint Inc.

Schaeffer says he is retiring now because the merger has gone well.

Schaeffer says he also is retiring from the WellPoint Inc. board so that the company can add a new board member without expanding the board.

WellPoint needs the capacity to add a board member because the company has agreed to add a board member from WellChoice Inc., New York, after completing efforts to acquire WellChoice, Schaeffer says.

WellChoice is the parent of the company that holds the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses for the New York area.

In other personnel news:

- Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, is promoting Joseph Caruso, its corporate secretary, to executive vice president, from senior vice president.

- The London office of the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development has hired Roy Laker to be an assistant vice president.

Laker has worked for Microgen P.L.C., London, an information technology company, and he also has been responsible for introducing modern insurance technology standards in London as the program director at the London Market Principles Office.

- Health Net Inc., Los Angeles, has hired Donald Shassian to be chief financial officer for its Health Net of the Northeast unit.

The Shelton, Conn.-based unit provides or administers health coverage for 830,000 residents of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Shassian has been working as an advisor to Health Net of the Northeast and other companies.

Shassian has a bachelor’s degree in business from Bucknell University. He holds the Certified Public Accountant professional designation.