Top Executive At UnitedHealthcare Steps Down

Top Executive At UnitedHealthcare Steps Down

The nation’s largest health insurer is shaking up its executive leadership.

The top executive of UnitedHealthcare is leaving the position, the company said Wednesday.
Executive vice president of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group and CEO of its UnitedHealthcare division Gail Boudreaux’s departure is part of a larger reshuffling of executives at the nation’s largest health insurer.
The company says Boudreaux made the decision to leave after reaching the goals set up when she joined the company in 2008. With the backdrop of a flagging economy, the company’s stock plummeted to as low as $17.15 per share during the throes of the recession, around the time she took office. Under her leadership, UHG’s stock more than quintupled, reaching $95.58 by mid-day Wednesday.
“We are deeply grateful for Gail’s many contributions to our enterprise, the focus she brought to local health care markets, building our culture and fostering innovation, as well as for her fellowship and counsel,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley said in a statement.

The current CFO of UnitedHealth Group, David Wichmann, will take up her responsibilities. He was also named president for UHG. Hemsley remains CEO of UnitedHealth Group.
Among the other changes:

  • Larry Renfro remains CEO of Optum, UHG’s information and technology health services organization, while also taking on the role of vice chairman, where he will focus on strategic relationships
  • Dirk McMahon, the current COO of Optum and CEO of the company’s prescription management and delivery group, Optum Rx, moves to executive vice president and chief of enterprise operations
  • The creation of a new “Office of the Chief Executive” that includes Hemsley, Refro and Wichmann, plus executive vice president and chief legal officer Marianne Short and executive vice president of human capital Ellen Wilson.

The changes take effect immediately.
UHG’s shakeup isn’t the only one in the Twin Cities health care market. On Tuesday, Minneapolis-based Allina Health, a nonprofit health system, announced that CEO Kenneth Paulus would retire at the end of the year. The company’s president and chief clinical officer, Penny Wheeler, will assume the role following Paulus’ departure.