Chutes & Ladders—Virta Health snags CFO from beauty brand; UHG names Witty chief

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.

UnitedHealth Group

Andrew Witty was named CEO of UnitedHealth Group. 

A headshot of Andrew Witty
Andrew Witty
(UnitedHealth Group)

UnitedHealth Group announced CEO David Wichmann is set to retire and named Witty, who is Optum's chief, as his successor.

Witty will take the title immediately and will join the company's board. Wichmann will continue with the company through March to aid with the transition, UnitedHealth Group said. Dirk McMahon, CEO of UnitedHealthcare, will become the company's president and chief operating officer. 

Witty was named CEO of Optum in 2018 and was tapped as president of UnitedHealth Group in 2019. From April to December of 2020, he took an unpaid leave of absence from the company to assist the World Health Organization in its COVID-19 response.

McMahon has been CEO of UnitedHealthcare since 2019 and was previously president and chief operating officer at Optum. He was also the CEO of OptumRx, the company's pharmacy benefit manager arm, and has been with the company since 2003.

Virta Health

Alok Bhushan
(Virta Health)

Alok Bhushan was named chief financial officer of Virta Health.

Virta, which works to reverse Type 2 diabetes, recently raised a $65 million series D funding round. Bhushan is coming to Virta from beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, where he served as CFO and was credited with leading the company through a period of rapid expansion, more than doubling revenue over a two-year period.

Bhushan has more than 15 years of experience leading finance for major tech and consumer brands including the IPO for Yext Inc., officials said in a statement. 

“Alok’s proven track record of scaling category-leading companies makes him the perfect fit to accelerate Virta’s growth in 2021,” said Sami Inkinen, CEO and co-founder of Virta Health, in a statement.


Michael Alkire 

Michael Alkire will become CEO of Premier Inc., succeeding Susan DeVore, who is retiring as CEO and board member May 1. DeVore will remain with the company through June 30 to smooth the transition, officials said in a statement.

Alkire will also serve as a member of the board. He joined Premier in 2003 and was named chief operating officer in 2013 and president in 2019.

Susan DeVore

As president, he is credited with leading Premier’s strategy, and officials said the company produced significant financial growth since its IPO, expanded member purchasing volume through its GPO portfolio from $40 billion in 2012 to $67 billion and strengthened its member relationships under Alkire’s leadership.

Prior to joining Premier, Alkire worked for 12 years at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in leadership roles that included responsibility for its North American supply chain and high-tech manufacturing sector. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and his MBA from Indiana University.

Carevive Systems, an oncology-focused health technology company, appointed Bruno Lempernesse as CEO. 

IMCS Group, a behavioral telehealth provider in workers' compensation, appointed Aimee Peters to the newly created role of chief clinical innovations officer. 

CohnReznick LLP, an advisory, assurance and tax firm, announced John Alfonso, partner and leader of the firm’s not-for-profit and education industry practice, was named 2021 chairman of the American Cancer Society board of directors.

> Sameer Mishra was named chief information officer for Discovery Health Partners.

> Health Prime appointed Pranil Vadgama as the company’s CEO.