In my previous post, I made reference to comments written by ‘TiredofTheOverpaidFailures’ in response to a Becker Review article.
Among other things, this writer said, “As a healthcare staffer for 35 years from entry-level employee to Director, I’ve literally never seen any CFO or CEO leave our organizations for any reason other than to “spend more time with my family”. It’s true, because in every case they collected an inflated golden parachute for the next 2-3 years and indeed manage to take off time to spend with their family or most of the time do part-time consulting at some other organization where they have no idea the horrific failure they were in the previous position. For that matter, what shape they left the organization in. They usually consider them “the expert” because they are from somewhere else.”
Clearly, he or she was very bitter about what they had observed in the front office of their organization over a long period of time.
It is true that some of the folks occupying C-suite offices are not that stellar but more often than not, when they leave it is rarely because they are an idiot. The system does a pretty good job of weeding out idiots before they can reach positions of such power and influence although I have seen a number of suspects among the casts of characters I have dealt with in healthcare administration. So if the CEO is not an idiot, why let him go? I will discuss a variety of situations that I have seen that I believe explain in part why CEO turnover in healthcare is so high.
I frequently hear complaints about what a Board is and is not doing with respect to the organization and the CEO. A healthcare organization is not much different from a professional sports team. The Board is the owner and the CEO is the coach. In the end, like a sports team, the Board only has one switch or lever to use to guide the organization; hire the coach or fire the coach. As long as the Board has not decided to fire the coach (CEO), by default they are supporting or at least tolerating him. He is still their guy until the notice is delivered which can happen on the same date that an incentive award is given. If you do not like what you see the CEO doing, it is not necessarily his fault. Look to the Board for responsibility for the actions and results of their CEO.