UnitedHealth: Stephen Hemsley (CEO)
It must be so easy to function in the healthcare industry that is only constantly riddled with increasing uncertainty, bedlam, and risk. Add to that the departure of your CEO, and here is another reason your insurance premiums will increase. The outgoing leader of UnitedHealth is described as one of the more reserved CEOs leading an iconic company. In fact, the only thing outgoing about him is that he is going out of America’s largest insurer. Despite his reticence (perhaps because of it) Hemsley has been a boon to the company from day one. Since becoming COO in 1998 (and CEO since 2006), the organization delivered healthy total returns of 4,500%, or 22.4% annually, which is more than triple the gains of the S&P index. During that span UnitedHealth climbed the ladder from 103 on the Fortune 500 list to 7th. After a widely publicized options backdating scandal, Hemsley assumed the role of CEO in 2006. He nursed the company back to health, through the Great Recession into unprecedented growth. David Winchmann, formerly president of the company, will attempt to fill the quiet but orthopedically sound shoes of Hemsley. Despite the plan in place, the man who established UnitedHealth as the leading insurer for big companies and pioneered the Big Data revolution in healthcare, is a significant loss as every company continues to navigate through the dystopian landscape that is American healthcare.