Hospitals Emphasize Financial, Technology Skills in CEO Searches

Hospital CIOsCould leaders of tech companies or CIOs transition to hospital CEO roles? A new study suggests it’s possible.

As reported in Healthcare IT News, a survey of 1,404 hospital HR officers and board members suggests that skills in business development, financial management and technology will weigh more heavily in new CEO hiring in 2014 than healthcare sector experience.

In fact, the Black Book poll estimates that two-thirds of hospital CEOs hired in the New Year will have little to no background in healthcare.

In 2013, only 39% of CEOs hired came from another hospital CEO position, down from 79% in a 2009 Black Book survey.

The trend toward outside hiring stems, in part, from the financial challenges facing many institutions, said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book. Outsiders “will not have developed hospital management skills from within or understand an organization's unwritten rules at first, but that’s not a bad thing either as more hospitals face fresh ideas to avoid bankruptcy, expedite smoother consolidations, conquer payment reform, and productivity issues.”

The industries most likely to spawn new hospital CEO candidates, according to survey respondents, are venture capital/private Equity (according to 42% of survey participants), finance and accounting (40%), banking (32%), technology (22%), marketing and sales (19%), not-for-profits (14%), and pharma/biotech (12%).

The Black Book report also finds that incumbent CIOs are short-lived when new leadership takes over. Nearly half of CFOs, CIOs, and COOs are terminated within nine months of a new CEO’s hire, as well as 32% of Chief Human Resource Officers and 24% of Chief Marketing Officers.