Athenahealth's president and chief executive officer Jonathan Bush has stepped down with immediate effect and the company has initiated a process to explore strategic alternatives including a sale or merger.
The healthcare technology provider has announced that its board of directors will consider a sale, merger or other transaction involving the company as well as continuing as an independent company. As part of the process, the company has initiated discussions with third parties regarding a potential business combination, and a search process for a new chief executive.
The board's strategic exploration process is designed to maximize shareholder value and better position Athenahealth to capitalize on its healthcare technology platform, the company said.
Meanwhile, to support its operations and ensure a smooth transition as the board conducts its strategic review, Jeff Immelt, chairman of athenahealth, has been appointed executive chairman; and Marc Levine, executive vice president, chief financial officer, chief accounting officer and treasurer, will assume greater day-to-day operational responsibilities and oversight. Finally, current Board member Amy Abernethy will be advising the executive leadership team on data strategy within her role as a director.
"athenahealth is the most universally connected healthcare network in the country, and we believe there remains significant, unrealized value in the Company," said Immelt. "To ensure athenahealth maximizes shareholder value and is best positioned to realize the full potential of its premier healthcare technology platform, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale or 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. We are fully focused on serving the best interests of our shareholders, employees and clients."
Immelt added: "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. The Board and Jonathan agree that this change in leadership is appropriate as athenahealth turns to its next chapter."
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