Aetna Inc. expects to hire a leader for its health-care business soon, and an analyst said the head of Mount Sinai-New York University Medical Center and Health System could get the job this week. An Aetna spokeswoman said the company wants to name a chief executive for the health division by Sept. 30 so it can include that information in a proxy form it plans to mail to shareholders in October or November. The spokeswoman wouldn't comment on a Wall Street Journal report that said the insurer is close to naming Dr. John W. Rowe, chief executive of Mount Sinai, one of New York's biggest teaching hospitals. Rowe, 56, couldn't be reached for comment, and a Mount Sinai spokesman declined to comment. Aetna and Rowe are negotiating a compensation package, said PaineWebber analyst William McKeever, who rates the stock "neutral." Aetna, trying to improve its relations with doctors who have accused it of meddling in care decisions, could get a boost by naming Rowe, Lehman Bros. analyst Lawrence Marsh said. But McKeever said Rowe's lack of managed-care experience could hurt. Aetna shares closed off 44 cents at $55.38 on the NYSE.
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