Modern Healthcare reports in its June 29 issue that hospital CEOs are jumping ship in the face of a variety of pressures, including revenue shortfalls and the uncertainty of healthcare reform.
In the second half of June alone, more than a dozen healthcare CEOs announced departures or formally retired, including: Ed Dahlberg, 61, retiring as CEO of three-hospital St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, Idaho, effective next March; John Ferguson, 60, retiring as president and CEO of Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, effective July 1 (June 22, p. 16); and Ellen Guarnieri, who is in her early 50s, president and CEO of 270-bed Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (N.J.)….
The trend is not limited to health providers. H. Edward Hanway, 57, chairman and CEO of Cigna Corp., Philadelphia, announced his retirement effective in January, and Boston Scientific President and CEO Jim Tobin, 64, announced his resignation, which will be effective July 13.
Regarding turnover among health plan executives, Carl McDonald of Oppenheimer writes:
Half of the companies in our coverage universe have named a new CEO since 2006. The longest serving CEO in the industry is Richard Barasch of Universal American, while both Mario Molina and Mike Niedorff of Centene assumed the top spot in 1996, before both companies were publicly traded. (Allen Wise also became the CEO of Coventry in 1996, although he stepped aside at the end of 2004, before resuming the top spot earlier this year). Jay Gellert ranks fourth on the tenure list, as he took over in 1996. The turnover has been even more dramatic among CFOs, as there have been 10 CFO changes since 2006, including five switches in the last two years. Universal American also has the longest tenured CFO, in Bob Waegelein, followed by Stuart Huizinga of eHealth (2000), and Jim Bloem of Humana (2001).
Looks like the brave new world of healthcare in the U.S. will be led some different faces. Will they be up to the task?