Tenet Healthcare Corp. has added its chief operating officer to the company's board of directors.
Dallas-based Tenet said Friday that its board appointed Dr. Saum Sutaria as a director effective immediately. The move expands the board to 11 directors.
Sutaria is a relatively new addition to the investor-owned hospital chain's C-suite. He joined Tenet in January 2019 from McKinsey & Co., where he spent 18 years as an adviser to healthcare and private equity organizations. In November 2019, Tenet promoted Sutaria to president and COO.
In his time at Tenet so far, CEO Ron Rittenmeyer said Sutaria's work improving care delivery has benefited the company.
"Saum's appointment is a reflection of his performance and contributions to the company," Rittenmeyer said in a statement. "We believe his engagement as a board member will be helpful for his development, and provide the board with useful insights and further opportunity for dialogue."
In his role as president and COO, Sutaria oversees Tenet's hospital operations and its outpatient facilities. He also has direct responsibility over its United Surgical Partners International unit and Conifer Health Solutions. Tenet plans to spin off its Conifer subsidiary into a separate, publicly traded company in 2021.
Sutaria was previously an associate clinical faculty member at the University of California at San Francisco. He earned his medical degree at the University of California at San Diego. He also has bachelor's degrees in molecular and cellular biology and economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Brian Tanquilut, a healthcare analyst with Jefferies, wrote in an email that he thinks the move by Tenet's board could be a signal of succession planning, indicating Sutaria will likely be the next CEO. A Tenet spokeswoman declined to comment on that point.