UnitedHealth CEO Stepping Down, To Be Replaced by Company President

CHARLOTTESVILLE,VA-AUG11:Chanting White lives matter! You will not replace us! and Jews will not replace us! several hundred white nationalists and white supremacists carrying torches marched in a parade

United States health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) re-shuffled its boardroom, with current president David Wichmann to take over the reins as chief executive.

The 54-year-old Wichmann now is now the company president and has overseen its biggest business, which focuses on health benefits, since 2014.

One of the nation's largest health insurers, UnitedHealth Group, which has a major presence in downtown Hartford, announced Tuesday that its top executive Stephen J. Hemsley is leaving his CEO post. Richard Burke, the current chairman, will transition to the role of lead independent director. Both men will take on their new roles beginning September 1. Launched in 2015, it was UnitedHealth's bet on merging health insurance coverage with primary care.

Wichmann taking over as CEO is also crucial, said Skolnick.

UnitedHealth said Mr. Wichmann's roles have included leading external development and merger-and-acquisition efforts, as well as integration activities, and that he now oversees UnitedHealth's business in Brazil, among other global markets, which the company said was "experience essential for building out the "third leg" of UnitedHealth Group's long-term growth strategy".

UnitedHealth shares have climbed more than 20% so far this year and they were up another 1.5% or so in pre-market trade to US$194.50.

"Health care will continue to change, but this is an enterprise built for change: innovative, adaptable and consumer-centric", Wichmann said.

UnitedHealth Group is switching up its leadership. Wichmann also has led mergers and acquisitions as the insurer pushed well beyond processing doctor bills and delved deeper into other elements of patient care.

Yet perhaps given the current health insurance landscape, now seemed as good a time as ever for Hemsley to step down.

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