Creating an orderly succession for itself, FHP Inc., the Fountain Valley health maintenance organization, has promoted Wescott W. Price III to the posts of president and chief operating officer.
Price, 48, takes over those recently created positions from company founder Robert Gumbiner, who remains the company's chairman and chief executive officer. Dr. Gumbiner, 64, also remains in control of FHP's parent company, FHP International Corp., as chairman and chief executive officer
Price also was named chairman of FHP Inc.'s executive management committee, the subsidiary's chief operating entity. Gumbiner makes all appointments to that committee.
FHP Inc. has tripled in size in the last five years, creating more work and a need for more help in sharing the load Gumbiner has carried, company spokesman Stuart Byer said.
"Several months ago, he created the office of president with the stated purpose of creating some logical order in terms of management succession," Byer said. "And we have the management depth to establish the position."
Price has been with FHP Inc. for six years, beginning as a vice president and rising to executive vice president in April.
Byer said Gumbiner is in good health and has no intention of retiring or leaving the company he founded in 1959.