Why Humana Chose Jim Rechtin As Its Next CEO

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) announced Monday that Jim Rechtin would be succeeding Bruce Broussard in the CEO role on July 1. On Tuesday, Broussard explained why.

Ultimately, the CEO succession plan had been in place at Humana for a while. Broussard has served in the CEO chair since 2013, and Rechtin was named his successor in October of last year.

“When the board began the search, we were really looking at a few things, including character traits and experience. Those were obviously two major areas,” Broussard said at the B of A Securities Healthcare Conference Tuesday. “Jim really fit both of the buckets quite well.”

The board was looking for someone with a great “capacity to deal with complexity,” according to Broussard.

“The ability for him to deal with details quite extensively, and also the ability to really listen,” he continued. “Those were really important traits as the board looked at the purpose-driven parts of the organization, in addition to just the complexity and diversity of the business.”

Part of the experience that stood out for Rechtin was his familiarity with Medicare Advantage (MA), as well as provider services.

Rechtin was the president and CEO of Envision Healthcare, and before that, the president of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) OptumCare. He also spent more than a decade at Bain & Company.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana is one of the largest insurers in the country. It has over 6 million MA members. In addition, it is one of the largest home health providers in the country. CenterWell Home Health, CenterWell Primary Care and CenterWell Pharmacy make up Humana’s provider services division.

Rechtin – who is currently president and COO at Humana – will also join the Humana board on July 1. Broussard will remain a strategic advisor to the company into 2026.

“We’re at a good breaking point,” Broussard said. “We are finalizing bids, those are going to be submitted over the coming weeks. And we’re in the administrative process time as opposed to any decision making, which was a couple of weeks ago, and which we were both part of. As we enter into the summertime, it begins the strategic planning cycle. We have a board meeting in October. The management team has a meeting in the middle of August that wraps around the strategic processing aspects. So, it’s a good break point.”

In a tough MA rate environment, Humana leaders said they are “pricing for profitability,” and making some tough decisions in terms of moving out of select markets.

Rechtin will take the helm in that tough environment, but also at a time when Humana is much more than just an insurer. CenterWell is one of the main strategic initiatives of the organization at this point.

“The last thing that we’ve seen is [Jim’s] ability to really dig deep and be a really good operator,” Broussard said.

Broussard and Humana CFO Susan Diamond also mentioned that, while adjustments would be made to its MA plans, it did not expect to lose significant membership – either to competitors or to traditional Medicare.

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