NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 29 Jack O. Bovender, Jr., chairmanand CEO of HCA Inc., announced today he will retire as CEO of the company atthe end of this year and remain as executive chairman and a member of theboard of directors until December of 2009. Richard M. Bracken, HCA'spresident and chief operating officer, will remain as president and take thehelm as CEO on January 1, 2009, in accordance with the company's existingsuccession plan.
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Bovender, who has over 30 years of experience with HCA, returned to thecompany from retirement in 1997 to help then-chairman and CEO Dr. Thomas F.Frist, Jr. return Columbia/HCA, then under a federal investigation, to HCA'scultural roots and reinforce the "patients-first" philosophy on which HCA wasfounded. Under their leadership, the company underwent a significantreorganization -- including implementation of a world-class ethics andcompliance program and two publicly-traded spin-offs of assets -- andstreamlined operations.
During Bovender's tenure as CEO, the company undertook the single largestpurchase of a non-profit system with the acquisition of Health Midwest, nowHCA Midwest, and developed and implemented the organization's shared servicesinitiative, a major cost-savings strategy that leveraged the company's sizeand scope by reducing unnecessary overhead through consolidation of businessoffice functions and rationalized supply chain services. Bovender also ledthe company's now well-documented evacuation of Tulane Medical Center duringHurricane Katrina. The company reopened the facility in February of 2006.That same year, the company successfully completed a plan to go private inwhat became the largest leveraged buyout of its time.
"I have had the pleasure of spending virtually my entire career with thebest healthcare organization in the world," said Bovender. "But now it's timeto begin the process of succession. We are extremely fortunate to haveRichard Bracken, an exceptionally qualified and experienced healthcareexecutive, as my successor. In choosing Richard, we are assured the culturewe have so firmly ingrained at HCA will continue. His strong operationsmanagement experience and understanding of HCA's impact in the communities itserves are exactly what we need in our next leader."
In addressing Bovender's retirement, Frist, an HCA board member and withhis family a significant owner of HCA, said, "Jack Bovender's leadership andknowledge have helped build HCA into a powerhouse in the healthcare sector.His caring nature and strong integrity reflect the vision my father, JackMassey and I began with -- to serve patients, partners and communities withcompassion and kindness. With Richard Bracken as Jack's successor, we areconfident the legacy of our founders will continue. Richard's experience andkeen judgment provide an assurance that HCA will continue as a leader in thehospital industry and a pacesetter for solutions in healthcare."
Bracken has 30 years of experience in the hospital industry, and hasworked with HCA for 27 years in leadership positions at the facility, stateand regional levels before taking on his current role. One of his firstpositions in the company was as CEO of Centennial Medical Center, thecompany's flagship hospital in its hometown market of Nashville, TN.
Bracken stated, "I have had the good fortune to have spent most of mycareer with HCA and the last seven years working in partnership with JackBovender. I have a strong sense of the market dynamics in which we operate andthe culture that pervades everything we do. I am honored to be chosen as HCA'snext CEO, and I look forward to working with our physicians, partners and allour HCA colleagues to continue to grow and improve our healthcareorganizations." Bracken and his wife, Judith, reside in Nashville and havefour grown children.
HCA and its affiliates operate 159 hospitals, 99 ambulatory surgerycenters and five endoscopy centers in 19 states and England, including eighthospitals, eight ambulatory surgery centers and one endoscopy center operatedthrough equity method joint ventures.
All references to "Company" and "HCA" as used throughout this documentrefer to HCA Inc and its affiliates.