UnitedHealthcare names new CEO

UnitedHealth Group, a large managed care company based in Minnetonka, Minn., announced a slew of leadership changes at the end of June, including naming a new CEO to UnitedHealthcare, its major health insurance business.

Dirk McMahon, currently president and COO of the company’s Optum unit, was appointed to CEO of UnitedHealthcare. He succeeds Steven Nelson, who is retiring from the company after his tenure as CEO. Daniel Schumacher, who has served as president and COO of UnitedHealthcare, will become president and COO of Optum.

“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,” David S. Wichmann, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, said in a statement.

UnitedHealthcare is the nation’s largest health insurer, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, as well as 6,000 hospitals and care facilities nationwide.

McMahon has been with UnitedHealth Group since 2003 and held several senior positions. He previously ran the company’s enterprise operations and served as CEO of OptumRx.

The news of the leaderships shakeup comes just after UnitedHealth was rumored to be buying healthcare payment firm Equian for $3.2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. The firm is likely to be folded into the Optum business unit.