Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy resigns

Paul Levy, the embattled president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, resigned today, the Boston Globe reports.

Perhaps some of the bad PR the hospital earned due to news of his improper relationship with a subordinate didn't help. The fallout from that exacerbated the situation. As recently as September, even the Massachusetts attorney general criticized the board of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for failing to stand up to Levy after complaints surfaced in 2003.

Levy decided to leave after recently turning 60 and spending time on a bike trip in Africa, where he had plenty of time in a less cluttered environment to think, the Boston Globe reports. Levy will stay on for up to a month and the hospital's COO Eric Buehrens will run BIDMC while the board launches a search for the next CEO.

This morning, Levy told WBUR that the resignation was spurred by a thirst for new challenges. "I tend to get energized in a turn-around situation and the hospital is now quite successful and I decided it was time to move on," he said.

BIDMC had its best year ever last year, he told the Globe. Because the hospital is profitable and more patients are showing up at its doors, Levy contends that his relationship with the female employee, who no longer works at BIDMC, and the later investigations did not harm the hospital.

Even so, his goodbye email was apologetic. "Over the last nine years, I have certainly made mistakes of degree, emphasis, and judgment,'' Levy wrote. "I have apologized to you directly for some of those, but I do so again, in the hope that such errors will not overshadow the many accomplishments and contributions of our hospital to the community and the health care industry. On the personal level, if I have slighted any one of you in any way or given you any cause for concern about my warm regard and respect for you, I doubly apologize.''

To learn more:
- read the Boston Globe article
- here's the WBUR story
- read the Boston Herald story