Dr. Steven Zatz, president of WebMD Health Corp., has been tapped to serve as the health information provider's new CEO, as current top executive David Schlanger exits the company after three years at the helm, WebMD announced Monday. The company's stock price fell following the news.
Zatz, 59, who has been a senior executive with New York-based WebMD and its predecessor companies for nearly two decades, has served as president of the company since 2013. He is responsible for the company's advertising and sponsorship business, which makes up about 80% of its total revenue, WebMD said in an announcement Monday.
Before he was appointed president, New York-based Zatz served as WebMD's executive vice president of professional services, where he was responsible for Medscape, a medical news site for physicians and other healthcare professionals. As CEO, Zatz's responsibilities will expand to include WebMD Health Services, which provides wellness services to employers and health plans. He will also remain president, a WebMD spokesman confirmed.
"Steve and his very talented team have done a great job in developing Medscape into a global brand and in further strengthening WebMD's position as the leading brand of heath information for consumers,” WebMD Chairman Martin Wygod said in the statement. “In light of Steve's deep knowledge of our business and industry, as well as his long-standing relationships across our company, I am confident that this transition will be seamless for our customers, partners and employees."
"It is a profound privilege for me to be able to lead WebMD at this time," Zatz said in the announcement. "As much as we've accomplished to date, I believe there are even greater opportunities ahead both in the US and worldwide."
Zatz replaces Schlanger, 57, who has served as CEO since August 2013 and is leaving WebMD by “mutual agreement,” according to the statement.
The WebMD spokesman had no additional comment on Schlanger's exit from the company or his future plans.
Prior to becoming CEO, Schlanger was interim CEO starting in May 2013 and before that was senior vice president for strategic and corporate development for the company.
During Schlanger's turn as CEO, WebMD's yearly revenue grew 23.5% to $636.4 million in 2015, up from $515.3 million in 2013. Net income grew 323.6% to $64 million from $15.1 million during the same time period.
WebMD's stock price has more than doubled to $51.97 as of Friday's close, from $23.62 on May 1, 2013.
On news that Schlanger is leaving WebMD, the company's stock price dropped 7% to $48.33 as of deadline.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank David for his contributions as CEO over these last three years,” Wygod said in the statement. “Under David's and Steve's leadership, we have achieved strong financial results, extended our market leading position, and strengthened the WebMD and Medscape brands. We wish David well in his future endeavors and Steve continued success in his new position."