WASHINGTON: Robert Schooling has departed health insurance giant Anthem, which rebranded from WellPoint this month, after a year as its chief advocacy and alliance development officer.
Schooling left Anthem in November and launched a PR firm in Washington, DC, last week. Named Reservoir Communications Group, the new company has six staffers and plans to add more.
Schooling serves as president of Reservoir, which will provide brand, reputation, and advocacy services to clients across the healthcare, energy, chemical, and financial services industries.
"I left [Anthem] because I still had a consulting bug, and I felt there was a real need in the market to bring brand reputation and advocacy together in a cohesive offer," Schooling said.
Anthem has not yet determined how to replace Schooling, said Kristin Binns, VP of PR for the company. Members of the corporate communications and public affairs teams have taken over his duties in the interim.
"Anthem believes advocacy is an important aspect of a comms and public affairs function, and we are going to evaluate the important work that [Schooling] began for us going forward," said Binns, noting that Schooling had served as a "trusted adviser" for the company.
Schooling stepped into the newly created role at Anthem in November 2013. He initially reported communications SVP David Palombi, who left in August to join CVS Health as SVP and CCO, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Anthem has not yet replaced Palombi, and Binn has taken over his duties in the interim. She reports to Jose Tomas, EVP and chief HR officer.
Schooling previously worked at APCO Worldwide for 18 years, most recently as president for the Americas. He left the agency in October 2013.