Eddie George, the only top executive in Wellmont Health System's eight-year history, will step down at the end of the year. George, 63, had planned to stay on as president and chief executive officer of the Kingsport, Tenn., system for another year or two and groom a successor, who would start as executive vice president and chief operating officer. As the search progressed, Wellmont found that top candidates did not like the uncertainty of the transition period, prompting George to agree to step down earlier, the system said. The five-hospital system is looking for a system president to start work this fall and add the CEO title at year-end. George will be available to consult with the new CEO for six months after his retirement. George was president of Bristol (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center when it merged with Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, in 1996 to form Wellmont. He won the Tennessee Hospital Association's meritorious service award for CEOs in 2000. -- by Vince Galloro
CEO to help successor search by retiring earlier
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