Healthcare consolidation is changing and eliminating the role of the hospital CEO. But there are still opportunities for strong leaders—they're just not always going to come with the title of CEO attached to them.
I wrote several weeks ago about the disappearing hospital CEO, and the column struck a bit of a nerve. Though I didn't have much more than anecdotal material to back up my claim that CEO jobs are getting scarce, I hit a nerve. Others who are observing the same phenomena started to get in touch with me.
I spoke with one headhunter who told me that it's scary out there for those who are looking to lead hospitals as consolidation really takes hold. Lots of good jobs are going away or transitioning into something different than how they've been defined for decades. Before you're overcome with the doom and gloom, however, there are still opportunities for strong leaders—they're just not always going to come with the title of CEO attached to them.
Can you handle that, especially if you've already been to the mountaintop, so to speak?
"I was having lunch with a CEO of a system that has 10,000 employees," says Andrew Chastain, managing partner of the southeast region for executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, who says at least in that person's instance, that title, and many of the responsibilities that go with it, is going away.
"He told me 'we'll be a subset of a larger system. And my job will be employee relations.'"