The millionaire chief executive of UnitedHealthcare Pennsylvania is resigning to focus on a potential run for mayor.
Tom Knox, once a deputy mayor in former Mayor Ed Rendell’s administration, raised eyebrows in November when he used $5 million of his personal fortune to jump-start an exploratory campaign.
“Frankly, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to be mayor and I didn’t think it was fair to the company,” Knox said of his resignation, which will be effective Feb. 2.
Knox, like other potential candidates, has yet to formally declare his candidacy. The Democratic primary is next year.
Knox said the company has asked him to serve as a consultant until a new chief executive is named.
“In a very short period of time, Tom has established UnitedHealthcare as a meaningful participant in the Pennsylvania marketplace,” David Weichman, president of the insurer’s Minneapolis-based parent company, UnitedHealthcare Group, said in a statement. “I wish to express our gratitude to Tom for his leadership.”
Since, 2004, the company has added about 75,000 subscribers in Pennsylvania. It now has about 300,000 customers in the state.
Knox grew up in a housing project in the East Falls neighborhood of the city, got into the insurance business, and made millions turning around a series of distressed companies. He served as deputy mayor for management and productivity in Rendell’s administration.
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