The Cleveland Clinic today named Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, M.D., to be its new chief executive officer, only the fifth CEO since the clinic was founded in 1921.
Cosgrove, 63, succeeds Floyd "Fred" Loop, M.D., who announced his retirement in January. Cosgrove will take over around Oct. 1.
The clinic has an international reputation and revenues of more than $3 billion. It is also Ohio's largest health system and employs 29,000 people.
"I think the Cleveland Clinic is probably the best positioned healthcare institution in the country to meet the demands of the 21st century," Cosgrove said. "I hope I'll be able to continue to build on that."
Cosgrove, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, is a renowned expert in repairing heart valves, having logged 18,000 surgeries. He is also a proven innovator in surgical devices and techniques and holds 18 patents.
Cosgrove's career path has closely followed that of his predecessor. Loop was chairman of cardiothoracic surgery when he hired Cosgrove in 1975, and Cosgrove replaced Loop as department head after Loop became CEO in late 1989.
Loop said it was Cosgrove's leadership and vision for the future that made him the top choice.
"He's a real leader, a proven leader," Loop said. "This process is a quest for perfection. Each CEO has to be better than the last one -- that's what we were looking for -- someone who could elevate the Cleveland Clinic to new heights, and someone who has the vision. And we found the right person."
Cosgrove's inventions have brought in more royalties than any other clinic physician?s, said Mal Mixon, the Invacare Corp. CEO who chairs the clinic's board of trustees and headed the search committee.
Cosgrove counts more than 400 journal publications, frequents the international cardiac conference circuit and sits on the editorial boards of about a dozen prominent cardiac surgery journals in the United States, as well as those in Kuwait, Italy and Germany.
"This, we felt, weighing all things together, was the right choice," Mixon said. "Dr. Cosgrove will carry and build this thing into an even greater medical center."
Cosgrove was the highest-paid member of the clinic staff, earning $1.8 million in 2002, the latest year for which public records are available.
Cosgrove said he will wind down his practice in a few years because leading the clinic will demand his full attention.
"Over the last few months I've done a lot of study, not just about our institution but about healthcare," Cosgrove said. "I plan on going to school hard over the summer."