WakeMed sets leadership team as CEO search begins

Posted October 2, 2013


— A week after parting ways with longtime Chief Executive Officer Dr. Bill Atkinson, WakeMed said Wednesday that it plans to hire a search firm to identify an interim CEO while also conducting a nationwide search for a permanent successor.

Tom Gettinger, the hospital system's executive vice president and chief operating officer, will serve in a supervisory role during the search for an interim CEO, officials said. Former Duke Raleigh Hospital CEO Doug Vinsel, a former chief operating officer at WakeMed, has agreed to act as a consultant and to advise the interim CEO.

“Finding an exceptional CEO to lead WakeMed into the next generation is our top priority as we continue to navigate this era of health care reform,” WakeMed Chairman William McBride said in a statement.

The board also adopted its 2013-14 budget, projecting a "breakeven operating margin" and a net income of $19.1 million from operations and investments.

"We anticipate the next couple of years to be both challenging and filled with opportunities for health systems across North Carolina and the country, and WakeMed is no exception,” Mike DeVaughn, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the hospital system, said in a statement. "This budget ... will require all members of the WakeMed family to work together and maintain a keen focus on our priorities."

Atkinson, who led WakeMed for the last decade, left the system last Thursday, citing "differences in the future direction of the organization." Sources familiar with the board's decision to split with Atkinson said various factors played into its decision, including a federal investigation into fraudulent Medicaid billing practices, growing financial losses and the perception that he was unable to communicate and listen effectively.


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  • joshuatree48 Oct 3, 2013

    How is it that the CEO of a hospital make more than the President of the US?

  • watchingtheclouds Oct 3, 2013

    sell the desk hire some one for 150,000 and get rid of 25 of the 28 VP that salary adds up to 6.2 million

  • Wake1 Oct 3, 2013

    Too many Executive Vice Presidents!!!!

  • MatureOne Oct 3, 2013

    "Bill Atkinson had a $65000 desk and a $1.5 mill job sooooo sell the desk and hire someone for 150000....just saying"

    I agree with the desk thing but realistically you are topping out a good Director with 150,000. Nevermind a VP, Executive VP and working up to CEO. His pay was on the high end of the scale but I can't be mad at someone that accepts the salary that he is offered. The board shares the load of that financial burden for agreeing to pay him that salary and all the extra perks that came with it. If you can't agree financially to a fiscally responsible salary package then part ways but you can't complain about it after the fact when you approved it. It was all just too much expansion to fast in an unstable financial market and a changing health care system. When you take away from employee benefits and expand you are going to lose employees that make the whole thing great, from the top on down. That plus the Medicaid thing led to him "leaving" due to different visions.

  • parcman Oct 3, 2013

    Dr. Bill Atkinson had a $65000 desk and a $1.5 mill job sooooo sell the desk and hire someone for 150000, the days of millions for a non profit hospital should be over....just saying