Athenahealth co-founder Jonathan Bush has resigned as president, CEO and member of the company's board, effective immediately.
"I believe that working for something larger than yourself is the greatest thing a human can do," Mr. Bush said in a June 6 company statement announcing his departure. "Athenahealth is a near once-in-a-lifetime example of such a thing. With that lens on, it's easy for me to see that the very things that made me useful to the company and cause in these past 21 years are now exactly the things that are in the way."
Here are five things to know about the abrupt resignation:
1. The athenahealth board has hired an executive search firm to assist with its CEO search. To ease its transition, the company appointed athenahealth Chairman Jeff Immelt to the post of executive chairman and given athenahealth Executive Vice President, CFO, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer Marc Levine greater day-to-day operational responsibilities.
"On behalf of the board, I want to thank Jonathan for guiding athenahealth to this point and for building an incredible team, which is deeply focused on our clients and on driving disruptive, positive change across the healthcare industry," Mr. Immelt said in the June 6 statement. "The board and Jonathan agree that this change in leadership is appropriate as athenahealth turns to its next chapter."
2. Mr. Bush stepped down from his leadership roles amid a number of public reports detailing domestic abuse and sexual harassment allegations against him, Bloomberg reports.
In late May, British tabloid the Daily Mail obtained documents filed with a Massachusetts family court during Mr. Bush and his now ex-wife Sarah Seldon's 2006 custody battle. In the documents, Mr. Bush confessed to "numerous physical altercations" with Ms. Seldon, who alleged Mr. Bush had "struck her on numerous occasions, once causing a black eye."
An athenahealth spokesperson told Bloomberg the company became aware of the allegations when contacted by the Daily Mail. In a statement, Mr. Bush told Bloomberg, "I take complete responsibility for all these regrettable incidents involving my dear former wife … I accept responsibility for my conduct and apologize to everyone involved."
3. Mr. Bush's departure follows Elliot Management making an unsolicited all-cash offer for athenahealth in early May, which may be worth almost $7 billion. Elliot Management is an investment management firm with a reputation for restructuring leadership teams and aggressively pursuing deals, according to Forbes.
4. Elliott Management first disclosed its purchase of a 9.2 percent stake in athenahealth in May 2017, raising questions about athenahealth's future among those in the healthcare industry. Last August, the athenahealth board of directors and management team unveiled plans to restructure the company's senior leadership, including hiring a president and chairman of the board— both roles previously filled by Mr. Bush.
5. In its June 6 statement, athenahealth also disclosed its board of directors had initiated a process to consider "strategic alternatives" for the company, which might include a sale, merger or continuing as an independent company under new leadership.
"We approach this process with an open mind and a commitment to continuing to strengthen the company — including its rich data asset, platform strategy and culture of innovation," Mr. Immelt said in the statement. "We are fully focused on serving the best interests of our shareholders, employees and clients."
More articles on health IT:
Breach at DTC genetic testing company MyHeritage hits 92M users
North Mississippi Health System taps Mercy to support Epic implementation
Hospitals that share data within their organization less likely to exchange data with other facilities
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2018. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.