Aetna hires Walmart exec to lead Apple Watch project

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Hartford, Conn.-based health insurer Aetna has tapped Ben Wanamaker, head of Walmart's health division, to lead its joint venture with Apple, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.  

Mr. Wanamaker has served as director of strategy and business development for Walmart's health and wellness and eCommerce business, focusing on partnerships and new ventures, since April 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile

Apple and Aetna entered into partnership in fall 2016 to subsidize the Apple Watch's cost for its employees. The insurer is reportedly negotiating a deal to offer its members free or discounted Apple Watches in an effort to push healthy lifestyles and diet tracking.

It is not yet clear what role Mr. Wanamaker will fill at Aetna, but he is the first reported hire dedicated to the venture, according to CNBC. Walmart did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment Tuesday.

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