Moran told the board that this was the right time to leave, Fountain said, as Moran anticipated it would take a year to find a replacement. Having a new CEO in place before healthcare reforms hit in 2014 was important for the public safety net.
“We have the highest respect for Mark,” Fountain said, who added the board wanted him to stay. “Even though this was a disappointment, this was not a surprise. Not only is he smart, he's a hard worker, he's a really good person and we're going to miss him.”
MetroHealth endured layoffs this year, most recently in September to fill a $30 million deficit. Locally, in Cleveland, Moran took heat for the cuts, but Fountain and the board lauded his performance. MetroHealth officials credited Moran with leading them from a string of annual losses ending in 2007 to $58.5 million in earnings in 2008 and $27.1 million in 2010.
Despite projecting a $6.3 million operating losses this year, Fountain said MetroHealth is in its best shape he's seen in his 14 years on the board: “I think he's set us up to have someone else take over—who won't be him—and to take us to a whole new level.”
Moran left the consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton in 2008 to take the CEO post. Fountain said he expects Moran to resurface in the consulting world, but not necessarily healthcare.
MetroHealth will form a search committee to find a new CEO. Under a best-case scenario, a new CEO would in place by mid-2012, Fountain said. He hopes the new CEO will have a firm grasp of business knowledge and the public health sector. There's a possibility the replacement would be a physician, but Fountain said that isn't a prerequisite.