The rising tide of information technology companies appears to be carrying some traditional healthcare executives on its swells.
Last week, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. said Trevor Fetter, its chief corporate officer and chief financial officer, will head the hospital chain's Internet-based group purchasing joint venture effective March 1.
The move by one of the company's rising stars and top executives reflects some of the new relationships that are blossoming between traditional healthcare companies and the exploding e-commerce sector.
Fetter, 40, has been in his current position for about a year and has been at Tenet for five years.
"If this weren't a very important and potentially very valuable activity for Tenet, I wouldn't be doing it," Fetter said. "The challenge of actually running something is a challenge that I've been rather excited about."
Fetter will become president and chief executive officer of Broadlane, the joint venture e-commerce company formed last December by Tenet and Ventro Corp., formerly Chemdex Corp. (Dec. 20, 1999, p. 25).
He said his decision was mutually prompted by Tenet Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Barbakow and Ventro President and CEO David Perry.
Fetter, who worked with Barbakow at movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is not a longtime hospital industry insider and looks forward to trying his hand at a new industry, he said.
When Broadlane was launched, Tenet owned a 76% stake and Ventro owned the remaining 24%, although Fetter said Tenet was inviting other hospital companies to invest in the company.
Broadlane, which is absorbing Tenet's group purchasing division, may go public before next year, Anderson said.
David Ricker, Tenet's senior vice president of material resource management and the head of BuyPower, Tenet's purchasing division, will become chief operating officer of Broadlane. Many Tenet employees from the BuyPower division will eventually also migrate to the new company, Fetter said.
David Dennis, 51, managing director and co-head of the Los Angeles office of investment banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, has been named to succeed Fetter at Tenet. He has been involved with Tenet's major corporate financings and acquisitions, including its formation through the 1995 acquisition of American Medical International and its 1997 acquisition of OrNda HealthCorp.