March 13, 2018 / 12:56 PM / a year ago

UnitedHealth names former GSK CEO Andrew Witty as Optum head

Sir Andrew Witty, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

(Reuters) - Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) on Tuesday named its board member and former GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) head Andrew Witty as chief executive of its pharmacy benefit unit, Optum, effective July 1.

Optum’s current CEO Larry Renfro will lead the investment initiatives of the unit through an expanded Optum Ventures, the company said.

It will include a new $100 million global fund for emerging and advanced technology, data analytics and healthcare services companies.

Optum unit manages drug benefits and offers healthcare data analytics services.

The company said Witty will step down from its board effective immediately.

Reporting by Mrinalini Krothapalli; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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