He had been the company's representative on Wall Street and at conferences around the world, winning over analysts and investors and generating buzz in the financial community that he was destined for promotion.
In February, WellPoint announced that Larry Glasscock would step down as CEO, remaining as chairman, and that Angela Braly, the general counsel, would succeed him. That surprised people who had expected Colby or another more senior executive to get the job.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday July 03, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
WellPoint executive: A June 14 article in Business about former WellPoint Inc. Chief Financial Officer David C. Colby said Sarah Waugh, a worker at WellPoint Health Networks Inc., met Colby in 1998. They met in 2001.
In March, Colby got the stock options and vice chairman title. Two months later, he was out.
Women who spoke to The Times described Colby as attentive and generous. Some said they suspected he might not be monogamous but all said they were shocked when they learned of the scope of his alleged philandering. Some said they were angry and hurt.
"He's basically a very good person. I just think he's confused," said Joyce Goodwin, 53, who works as a dispatcher for the city of Ventura's public works department and said she dated him in 2003 and 2004.
Sarah Waugh said she met Colby in 1998 when she was a 22-year-old temporary worker at WellPoint's offices in Thousand Oaks, where she later landed a permanent job. Their romantic liaison began at a company party at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles in early 2001, she said, where she felt "like quite a big deal" because Colby danced with her.
"I was impressed by all the riches," she said. "He drives me to the Sherwood house and shows me his home, takes me home and drops me off. He says, 'Stay with me and you'll never have to worry about anything. He hands me $300 or $500 and says, 'Get a pedicure, buy yourself a dress.' And that's how it started."
She said she left the company a few months after she began dating Colby and that he talked repeatedly of marriage.
Her sister Jessica Waugh, 27, said she met Colby at a party she attended with Sarah and later started dating him, enchanted by his dedication. "He is very knight-in-shining-armor," she said. "He is incredibly charming and takes care of everything for you and makes you feel very safe and very cared for."
In late 2004, she said, she joined Colby on a business trip to Europe during which he visited investors in London, Paris, Amsterdam and other cities. She said she considered him her fiance.
The sisters said they were astonished to learn they were involved with the same man at the same time.
"I'm sure that was part of his thrill, but we had no idea," said Sarah Waugh, now 29. Her sister described herself as "kind of in disbelief."
"He's very good at what he does," Jessica Waugh said. "This is not a stupid man. He did not get to where he is today without knowing how to handle people."