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UnitedHealthcare Gets New CEO, as Execs Dance a Do-Si-Do

Analysis  |  By Steven Porter  
   June 28, 2019

The leadership changes announced by UnitedHealth Group affect C-suite posts for both its UnitedHealthcare and Optum divisions. 

UnitedHealth Group, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, announced some changes Friday to its senior executive team, following the retirement of UnitedHealthcare CEO Steve Nelson.

The changes affect C-suite leadership posts for both UnitedHealthcare, which offers health insurance and benefits services, and Optum, which offers information and tech-enabled services.

Dirk C. McMahon, who is currently the president and chief operating officer for Optum, has been named Nelson's successor as UnitedHealthcare CEO.

Daniel J. Schumacher, who is currently president and COO of United Healthcare, has been named McMahon's successor as Optum's president and COO.

McMahon, who joined the company in 2003, has held a number of senior positions, according to the announcement. He ran UnitedHealth Group's enterprise-wide operations and served as CEO of OptumRx.

Schumacher, who joined the company in 1999, has also a number of senior positions across UnitedHealth Group. As part of his new role, he will oversee OptumInsight, the company’s data, analytics, and technology business, as well as Optum Technology and Optum operations.

"We are deeply grateful to Steve Nelson for his 15 years of service—each day over those years Steve brought a sharp focus on our members, the providers who care for them and our colleagues who support them—all with the highest level of integrity. We are a better company as a result of his service, and he is leaving at a time of strength in the business," said UnitedHealth Group CEO David S. Wichmann said in a statement.

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: Jonathan Weiss /


The CEO of UnitedHealth Group's UnitedHealthcare division retired.

The COO of Optum was named UnitedHealthcare's new CEO.

The COO of UnitedHealthcare was named Optum's new COO.

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