Walmart has tapped Sean Slovenski, the former vice president of innovation at Humana, as its senior vice president of health and wellness, according to Bloomberg.

George Riedl previously ran the retailer’s health business.

The news comes from an internal memo from Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart US. Slovenski will directly report to Foran.

“Because of its strategic importance, we’ve decided to put more focus on our Health & Wellness business in the near term,” the memo reads, according to Bloomberg.

Slovenski’s appointment comes after lots of speculation about the relationship between the two companies. In March, a Wall Street Journal report said Walmart was looking to acquire Humana.

More recently, the talks have evolved to center around a possible partnership between the organizations. They already work together on Medicare prescription drug plans. The initiative allows individuals to get some prescriptions for as little as $1, as long as they pick them up at Walmart or Sam’s Club.

The hiring could also be Walmart’s way of crafting a better healthcare strategy going forward. CNBC reported in April that the retail giant was engaging PillPack in acquisition talks. But this summer, Amazon emerged as the buyer of the startup, which packages medication into individual packets and delivers them to consumers.

In addition to working at Humana, Slovenski previously served as CEO of Care Innovations, a healthcare partnership between Intel and GE. Most recently, he was president of population health at Healthways. Sharecare bought the company’s pop health division in 2016.

Photo: z_wei, Getty Images

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