UnitedHealthcare names veteran exec as new CEO

UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealth Group has tapped a company veteran to head its insurance business. (jetcityimage/Getty)

UnitedHealthcare has a new chief executive officer.

UnitedHealth Group has tapped Brian Thompson to serve as CEO of its health plan, the healthcare giant announced Wednesday morning. Thompson most recently served as chief of UnitedHealthcare's government business, including Medicare and Medicaid plans.

A key focus for Thompson, the company said, will be continuing to drive growth across UnitedHealthcare, which is the nation's largest insurer.

“Brian’s experience, relationships and values make him especially well-suited to help UnitedHealthcare improve how health care works for consumers, physicians, employers, governments and our other partners, leading to continued and sustained long-term growth,” said Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, in a statement.

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Thompson has held a number of roles at UnitedHealth Group since joining the company in April 2004.

UnitedHealthcare's CEO role was previously held by Dirk McMahon, who moved into the position of president and chief operating officer of UnitedHealth Group earlier this year.

UHG CEO David Wichmann announced his plans to retire in March, with Witty as a successor. Witty previously served as the CEO of Optum and was a rising star within the company.

In 2020, Witty took a nearly yearlong leave of absence from UnitedHealth to assist the World Health Organization in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.