Mike Mikan Tapped as New CEO for Bright Health
Mike Mikan (Photo courtesy of Bright Health)

Mike Mikan Tapped as New CEO for Bright Health

The health insurance startup is also adding former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt to its board.

Minneapolis-based Bright Health Inc. has tapped G. Mike Mikan as its new CEO. Mikan replaces Bob Sheehy, a cofounder of the company who has served as CEO since it began in 2015. Sheehy will now serve as executive chairman the company’s board of directors. The moves are effective on April 30.

At the same time, the company is adding some high-profile firepower to its board of directors:

former General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt joins the board on April 30. Immelt served as CEO of GE for 16 years, from 2001 to 2017. According to Bright Health’s statement, Immelt “transformed GE’s employee health care program during his tenure, creating a company-wide, value-based model that reduced health care costs by 20 percent.”

Bright Health is based in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, but is building a national network for its health insurance plans. When it enters a new market, Bright Health partners with a single health care provider, a model sometimes referred to as a “narrow network” insurance plan. Bright Health currently offers health plans in 34 markets across 13 states. In January, the company expanded to California.

Bright Health is in a class by itself among Minnesota startups. The company has raised a mind-boggling $1.1 billion in venture capital financing. That includes a $635 million Series D round at the end of last year.

Mikan served as interim CEO for electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. for a few months in 2012 between CEOs Brian Dunn and Hubert Joly. Mikan is a veteran of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group Inc., where he held a variety of executive roles from 1998 to 2012.

Sheehy was also a veteran of UnitedHealth where he spent more than two decades and served as CEO of UnitedHealthcare from 2000 to 2007. Mikan, who has been Bright Health’s vice chairman and president, has been working closely with Sheehy for the past 15 months.

Bright Health has made other recent key additions to its board including Kedrick Adkins, the former CFO of Mayo Clinic, and Naomi Allen, CEO and co-founder of Emilio Health. The New York-based Emilio Health defines itself as “the first technology-enabled behavioral health home for children and their families.”