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Several leadership changes were announced Friday at UnitedHealth Group Inc., including the retirement of UnitedHealthcare CEO Steve Nelson. 

Dirk McMahon, president and chief operating officer of the UnitedHealth Group Optum platform, will take over as CEO, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc announced Friday morning. 

Nelson’s retirement comes just before UnitedHealthcare is set to officially pull out of Iowa Medicaid on June 30. After warnings to improve services and cut costs, Gov. Kim Reynolds in March cut ties with UnitedHealthcare, calling the company's terms for remaining in the system unreasonable and unsustainable.

UnitedHealthcare members will transition to either Iowa Total Care or Amerigroup Iowa, Inc., another managed-care organization, contracted with the state.

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Dan Schumacher, current president and COO of UnitedHealthcare, will become president and COO of Optum, a health information technology and services firm that is part of UnitedHealth Group.

In an internal memo, Dave Wichmann, CEO for UnitedHealth Group, said Nelson will serve as an adviser to Wichmann until Nelson officially retires later this year.

“As you might imagine, it’s a difficult decision to leave a company with a mission and team that makes such a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people, but after an incredible 15 years with this company, it’s the right time for me and my family,” Nelson said in a memo.

He said he has worked with many years with McMahon, who has extensive experience across UnitedHealth Group.

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