William W. McGuire

William W. McGuire

William W. McGuire

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William "Bill" McGuire, M.D. (born 1948) is an American pulmonologist, lepidopterist, philanthropist, and healthcare executive, best known for his tenure as chairman and chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group from 1991 until his resignation in 2006.

Personal life

McGuire was born in Troy, New York, and grew up in League City, Texas. He attended college at the University of Texas at Austin and medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas. After medical school, he worked in California and Colorado before moving to Minnesota.


McGuire joined United HealthCare in November 1988 as an executive vice president when the Peak Health Plan, of which he was then president and chief operating officer, was acquired by United. In May 1989, he was appointed to the board of directors and became chief operating officer of United. In November 1989, he became president of the company, a position he held until May 1991. He was named chief executive officer in February 1991, and chairman of the board of directors in May of the same year.

When McGuire joined United, it was an unprofitable regional health maintenance organization with annual revenues around $400 million. When he left, United was one of the largest, most profitable, and most diversified healthcare companies in the world, with more than $70 billion in annual revenues, more than 50,000...
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