UnitedHealth names Sir Andrew Witty as new CEO amid current CEO’s retirement

UnitedHealth Group’s board of directors has named a new chief executive officer, to succeed the current CEO who is retiring.

In a release issued Thursday, Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group stated Sir Andrew Witty will take over the role of CEO as David S. Wichmann retires.

"As we have come to know firsthand during his time at UnitedHealth Group, Andrew Witty combines an extraordinary breadth and depth of health care experience, sophisticated strategic thinking and outstanding leadership development skills, making him uniquely well-positioned to help the company take the next steps on its steady path to grow and deliver for its shareholders and the customers and people we are privileged to serve," Stephen J. Hemsley, chairman of the UnitedHealth Group board of directors, said in a statement.

According to the company, Witty previously served as CEO of Optum in 2018, became president of UnitedHealth Group in 2019, and then served as a UnitedHealth Group company director. He took an unpaid leave of absence from April-December 2020 to become a global envoy for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 efforts.

Witty will rejoin the UnitedHealth Group’s board of directors, becoming CEO immediately, with Wichmann continuing in a transition period through March 2021.

Additionally, Chief Financial Officer John Rex, and new President and Chief Operating Officer Dirk McMahon will join Witty as the company’s executive suite.

"I am deeply honored to help guide one of the most consequential organizations in health care, where our responsibility is to execute flawlessly and deliver on our potential each day," Witty said in a statement. "Together with my partners Dirk McMahon and John Rex, we have the right strategy, and tremendous people and capabilities throughout the organization to continue strengthening our efforts to improve the health system for everyone. Dave Wichmann is leaving a powerful legacy of service to others and commitment to innovation for us to build upon."