UnitedHealthcare names Optum executive Dirk McMahon as new CEO

UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is making some C-suite changes. (jetcityimage/Getty)

UnitedHealthcare has named Dirk McMahon, the current president and COO of its business unit Optum, as the new CEO of the company’s insurance arm. McMahon has had several roles since joining UnitedHealthcare in 2003.

UnitedHealthcare’s current CEO of two years, Steve Nelson, is retiring immediately. He has been with UnitedHealthcare for 15 years.

Other executive suite changes include moving Daniel Schumacher, the president and COO of UnitedHealthcare, to the same role at Optum. Schumacher’s new role includes oversight of OptumInsight, the company’s data, analytics and technology business, Optum Technology and Optum operations, the company said.

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"At a time when UnitedHealth Group is performing strongly in the marketplace on multiple dimensions, we are advancing leaders who will improve the overall health and well-being of the people we serve and their communities, and further enhance the performance of the health system," UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann said in a statement.

RELATED: Optum’s $4.9B deal to buy DaVita Medical Group further expands UnitedHealth’s care delivery portfolio

Nelson took over the top role at UnitedHealthcare two years ago. The role is one of the highest-profile executive jobs at UnitedHealth Group and Nelson's compensation totaled $9.8 million last year, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

“We are deeply grateful to Steve Nelson for his 15 years of service—each day over those years Steve brought a sharp focus on our members, the providers who care for them and our colleagues who support them—all with the highest level of integrity. We are a better company as a result of his service, and he is leaving at a time of strength in the business,” Wichmann said in a statement.

UnitedHealthcare's Optum recently finished the $4.3 billion acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, getting the final OK from the Federal Trade Commission. The plan to merge the two entities was first announced in 2017.

The UnitedHealth Group also announced last month the expansion of its point-of-sale discounts for drugs. Beginning in 2020, all new employer plans with UnitedHealth and Optum will be required to offer all drug discounts directly to members at the pharmacy counter.

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