Aetna CEO: Successful companies manage people, not bottom lines

The CEO of Aetna said during a Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit last week leaders who invest in the lifetime value of consumers and workers grow revenue and earnings.

"Profit is an outcome of a well-run business based on sound business fundamentals and a well-educated and happy workforce," Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said during the summit. "You don't manage a bottom line. Anybody who manages a bottom line is making a big mistake. That's why a lot of companies aren't around for a long time."

Mr. Bertolini spoke about various employee health initiatives implemented at Aetna, such as monetary rewards for sleeping, student loan debt aid and mindfulness therapy. The insurer allocates roughly $50 million to $60 million annually toward employee wellness programs, according to the report. As a result, healthcare costs lowered among Aetna employees, he said.

"Right now, we treat machines better than we do people in our businesses," he said. "That should be eliminated. We should either allow for depreciation in employee investment or don't allow for depreciation in technology and machine investment."

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