Chutes & Ladders—UnitedHealth Group names Optum CEO as its president; Tenet Healthcare names new COO

Graphic of workers with parachutes and ladders
(Lia Shaked)

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please submit the good news—or the bad—from your shop, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Andrew Witty

UnitedHealth Group

Andrew Witty, who is CEO of Optum, was tapped to serve as president of parent company UnitedHealth Group (UHG). Witty will retain his role as Optum CEO, UHG said in the announcement.

As president, Witty will be tasked with overseeing enterprise business strategy formulation, enterprise business development and partnerships along with oversight of enterprise research.

Witty is also former chancellor of the University of Nottingham, a British public research university, and serves on the Singapore prime minister’s R&D advisory board. In addition, he serves in an advisory capacity to 8VC, Hatteras Venture Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

He earned a knighthood in the U.K. in 2012.

Maryjane Wurth

American Hospital Association

Maryjane Wurth, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Hospital Association (AHA), will retire next year. Wurth oversaw the creation of the AHA Center for Health Innovation, revamped the business model for AHA’s for-profit subsidiary and led a task force that identified new ways to engage hospitals and health systems in the work of the association.

Before coming to the AHA, Wurth ran the Illinois Health and Hospital Association as president and CEO. 

A headshot of Michelle Hood
Michelle Hood

Earlier, she served as COO of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), as

well as president and CEO of HANYS Solutions Inc., the association’s for-profit subsidiary. 

Michelle Hood, president and CEO at Northern Light Health in Brewer, Maine, was named the next executive vice president and COO. Hood will join the AHA next year, officials said.

Saum Sutaria
(Tenet Healthcare)

Tenet Healthcare

Saum Sutaria, M.D., was promoted to president and COO of Tenet Healthcare

Sutaria took on the new role immediately, and he will continue to be responsible for the company’s Hospital Operations segment, which includes acute care hospitals, hospital-affiliated outpatient centers and employed physicians.

Regina Nethery

He will also assume direct responsibility for United Surgical Partners International and Conifer Health Solutions.

Sutaria will continue reporting to executive chairman and CEO Ron Rittenmeyer.

Meanwhile, Tenet also announced Regina Nethery will serve as Tenet's new vice president of investor relations. 

Nethery most recently served as enterprise vice president for Humana Inc.

> HCA Healthcare announced Charles Gressle was named the president of HCA Healthcare’s Fort Lauderdale-based East Florida Division, effective Dec. 1. Gressle will assume leadership from Michael Joseph, who is retiring after 31 years with the company.

OODA Health announced Diego Piacentini joined its board of directors. The veteran of Amazon and Apple will assist OODA Health with operational scaling, mentoring of the executive team, product strategy and execution, officials said.

> Joseph Kerschner, M.D., who is dean of the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine, was named the new chairman of the AAMC Board of Directors. He succeeds Lilly Marks, vice president for health affairs for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. AAMC also named J. Larry Jameson, M.D., who is executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, chair-elect.