Former GSK CEO to head up Optum 16th March 2018
Andrew Witty, formerly chief executive officer (CEO) of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), will become CEO of Optum, the health services company of the health insurer, United Health Group, effective July 1, 2018. Witty has served as a member of the United Health Group’s board of directors since August 2017.
He will succeed Larry C Renfro, current CEO of Optum and vice chair of UnitedHealth Group, who will step down and lead the company’s growth efforts and investment initiatives through an expanded Optum Ventures. Renfro plans to focus his work on UnitedHealth Group growth priorities and developing, maintaining, and expanding strategic relationships, sponsorships, and partnerships. Renfro is expected to help accelerate the company’s innovation capacities and reach, as managing partner of Optum Ventures, a series of domestic and international funds, including a new, $100-million global fund, dedicated to emerging and advanced technology, data analytics, and healthcare services companies. The new global fund complements a domestic Optum Ventures fund announced in November 2017; together they have total investment commitments of up to $600 million. Renfro joined UnitedHealth Group in 2009 as CEO for the public and seniors market group before becoming CEO of Optum in 2011 and also vice chair in 2014.
In light of Witty’s new appointment, he will step down from the UnitedHealth Group board of directors, effective immediately. Witty joined GSK in 1985 and served as CEO and a director of GSK from 2008 until 2017. Witty is the chancellor of the University of Nottingham, a British public research university, and serves on the Singapore Economic Development Board International Advisory Committee, the council at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also serves on the board of G1 Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company developing small-molecule therapies in oncology.