UnitedHealth Group, Minneapolis, appointed Northwest Airlines Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson as executive vice president with unspecified responsibilities, starting Nov. 1. Anderson, 49, will be considered third in command at the nation's largest health insurer, after Chairman and CEO William McGuire and President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Hemsley, analysts said. Anderson, a former prosecutor, has been with the No. 4 airline for 14 years and has served as CEO since February 2001. Doug Steenland, who will replace Anderson as Northwest's CEO, told reporters that there was "no precipitating event" behind Anderson's resignation, "other than Richard was presented with a very significant and attractive opportunity to work for a very large and rapidly growing company." Like other airlines, Northwest, based in Eagan, Minn., has suffered from the economic downturn; it posted a net loss of $565 million on $9.5 billion in revenue last year. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth --which has a long history of hiring top professionals from service-driven industries other than healthcare -- earned $2.94 billion on revenue of $28.8 billion. -- by Laura B. Benko
UnitedHealth names Northwest CEO to a top spot
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