Athenahealth names former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as chairman

Jeff Immelt has been tapped to replace Jonathan Bush as chairman at Athenahealth. (Athenahealth)

Athenahealth has named former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt the board chair of Athenahealth, taking over the role from CEO and founder Jonathan Bush.

Immelt stepped down from his position at GE in October after a 16-year career at the company where he helped grow the company’s healthcare arm into a $20 billion enterprise. Earlier this month Immelt joined New Enterprise Associates as a venture partner. 

Athenahealth’s board of directors voted unanimously for Immelt to fill the role as board chairman effective Wednesday.  

“Having considered a number of highly qualified candidates, the board determined that Jeff’s deep expertise and broad relationships in the healthcare industry, combined with his drive for industry transformation through innovation, ideally position him to be a great partner to the board and management team as we work to profitably grow and scale the company and drive value creation,” Dev Ittycheria, chair of the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee, said in an announcement.

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Bush, who will continue as CEO, said the appointment was part of several moves to “enhance the board and management team.” Beginning last fall, the company began executing a new strategic plan that included a 9% workforce reduction and closed offices in California and New Jersey. The company expects to save at least $100 million over the course of 2018.

Last week, Athenahealth reported a double-digit revenue increase in 2017, and Bush predicted that level of growth would continue in 2018.