UnitedHealth CEO Dave Wichmann leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than three and a half years in the position
  • Praise for Wichmann
  • Andrew Witty taking over

(exechange) — Minnetonka, Minnesota, February 4, 2021 — Dave Wichmann, chief executive of UnitedHealth, leaves. As announced by UnitedHealth Group Inc. in a news release on Thursday, February 4, 2021, David S. (Dave) Wichmann leaves his post as chief executive officer of the parent of the biggest U.S. health insurer after less than three and a half years in the role, effective immediately.

The announcement of Dave Wichmann’s move comes 15 months after Stephen J. Hemsley took over as Chair of the Board of UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Dave Wichmann’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Andrew P. Witty, most recently CEO of Optum and president of UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Dave Wichmann’s move forms part of a management shake-up also involving the position of chief operating officer.

No reason given

In the announcement, UnitedHealth did not explicitly explain the reason for Dave Wichmann’s move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information regarding Dave Wichmann’s future plans was not immediately available.


UnitedHealth said: “The Board of Directors of UnitedHealth Group has named Sir Andrew Witty as chief executive officer, succeeding David S. Wichmann, who retires after successfully guiding the company through a period of growth and innovation and the deeply challenging onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

UnitedHealth further said: “[Witty] will rejoin the UnitedHealth Group Board of Directors and becomes CEO immediately, with Wichmann continuing in a transition period through March 2021.”

Share price increase since September 2017

The announcement follows an increase in UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s share price of 69% since September 2017. September 2017 is the month in which Wichmann’s tenure as CEO began.

Chaired by Stephen J. Hemsley

Stephen J. Hemsley serves as UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s Chair of the Board.

Hemsley is Chair of the Board of UnitedHealth Group and has served in this capacity since November 2019. Hemsley previously served as Executive Chair of the Board from September 2017 to November 2019, Chief Executive Officer from November 2006 to August 2017, President from May 1999 to November 2014, and Chief Operating Officer from November 1998 to November 2006. He joined the Company in 1997 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2000.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Dave Wichmann became CEO of the Company in September 2017.

Wichmann previously served as President of UnitedHealth Group from November 2014 to August 2017.

Wichmann also served as Chief Financial Officer of UnitedHealth Group from January 2011 to June 2016.

From April 2008 to November 2014, Wichmann served as Executive Vice President of UnitedHealth Group and President of UnitedHealth Group Operations.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Dave Wichmann’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to UnitedHealth and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 6.2021 ($).