In a major personnel shift, UnitedHealth Group announced this week that Larry Renfro, CEO of its subsidiary Optum, will step away from the corner office to become managing partner of Optum Ventures and its expanded $600 million investment fund.
Ex-GlaxoSmithKline chief executive, Andrew Witty, will take Renfro’s place as CEO of Optum on July 1, the company announced March 13. Witty has been a member of UnitedHealth’s board since August of 2017.
Optum Ventures, a fund first announced in November last year, is dedicated to supporting emerging technology, data analytics and healthcare services. With the addition of a new $100 million Global Fund, Optum Ventures has up to $600 million in total investment commitments, UnitedHealth Group reported.
“Our growth and diversification across UnitedHealth Group continue to advance at a strong pace, driven in part by well-recognized and growing depth in executive leadership. At Optum, Larry Renfro and his team have built a $100 billion, innovative and groundbreaking organization that is truly helping make the health system work better for everyone while helping to transform health care. I am both excited and grateful that Larry will partner with me at the enterprise level, dedicating his talents to strengthening our present day growth agenda and future capability development and strengthening of Optum through early-stage investing at Optum Ventures,” UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann said in prepared remarks.
“We are deeply fortunate in Andrew Witty to have the right person to extend Optum’s momentum and lead the business in its next phase of growth. He brings more than three decades of healthcare system strategic thinking and knowledge from around the globe, a record of fostering innovation and partnerships, seasoned leadership of complex organizations and a commitment to improving care delivery that will now benefit Optum,” Wichmann added. “Critically, he has deep experience with how data and analytics and new technologies can be used to improve patient outcomes, better serve consumers, lower costs and drive value across the system – which is at the heart of Optum’s work to shape health care for the better.”