UnitedHealth Group is switching up the roles of its top executives.
The Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer on Friday said that Dirk McMahon, the current president and chief operating officer of fast-growing business unit Optum, will become CEO of UnitedHealthcare, the company's insurance arm.
Steve Nelson, who was named UnitedHealthcare CEO just two years ago, is retiring immediately. He has been with the company for 15 years.
The company also announced that Daniel Schumacher, the current president and COO of UnitedHealthcare, will take over as president and COO of Optum.
UnitedHealth said the changes are "part of its long-standing approach to building broad and deeply experienced leaders."
"At a time when UnitedHealth Group is performing strongly in the marketplace on multiple dimensions, we are advancing leaders who will improve the overall health and well-being of the people we serve and their communities, and further enhance the performance of the health system," UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann said in a statement.
"Our consistent approach over the years is to provide our executives with a breadth of experience across the company, ensuring they can deploy the full set of our capabilities to everyone we serve in the interest of achieving better health outcomes and a better experience for people while meaningfully lowering healthcare costs," he continued.
Equity analysts agreed the leadership changes are a typical strategy of UnitedHealth Group's and are meant to strengthen the company's bench of potential CEOs.
UnitedHealth reported annual profit of $12.4 billion in 2018 on revenue of $226.2 billion. This month, it finally closed its $4.3 billion acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, a deal that was first announced in late 2017.