HCA CEO R. Milton Johnson will step down

Hospital Corporation of America CEO R. Milton Johnson will retire from his role at the publicly traded health system giant at the end of the year, it was announced Monday. (HCA)

Hospital Corporation of America CEO R. Milton Johnson will retire from his role at the publicly traded health system giant at the end of the year.

R. Milton Johnson (HCA)

Sam Hazen, the company's president and chief operating officer will succeed him on Jan. 1.

Johnson will continue on a chairman of the board through the Nashville-based company's annual shareholders meeting scheduled for April 26, 2019 when he will officially retire from the company. Hazen was appointed part of HCA's board of directors effective Monday.

Thomas F. Frist III, a current board member and the son of HCA Healthcare founder Thomas Frist, Jr., will become chairman of the board in April.

HCA has 179 hospitals and 120 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and the United Kingdom. It is a $41.5 billion company and has 240,000 employees who provide about 5% of U.S. hospital services.

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Johnson was part of HCA for 36 years and served as CEO since 2014.

RELATED: Income surges for publicly traded health systems including HCA, Universal Health Services

While CEO, HCA grew revenues 27% from $34.2 billion in 2013 to $43.6 billion in 2017, invested about $13 billion in capital expenditures, returned $10 million in cash to shareholders through repurchases and dividends and increased the price of the company's stock by 275%, Johnson said.

HCA had the most profitable second quarter among publicly traded health systems with income of $820 million on $11.53 billion in revenue—a 25% increase compared to the second quarter of 2017.

Sam Hazen (HCA)

Citing growth across the majority of its service lines, the health system giant was just one of several publicly traded health systems that saw profits surge last quarter by 20% or more compared to the same quarter in last year, according to a review by FierceHealthcare.

RELATED: Amid strong second quarter, HCA reports declining emergency department numbers

"I remain excited about the company’s future and have strongly endorsed Sam as the right person to lead the company; his leadership has greatly contributed to our success," Johnson said. 

Hazen has been with the company for almost 36 years. He's previously served as the company's chief operating officer, president of operations and Western Group president and chief financial officer.

He began his career in Humana’s financial management specialist program in 1983 and has held chief financial officer position at hospitals in Georgia and Nevada. Hazen serves on the board of directors for the Nashville Health Care Council and the HCA Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Kentucky and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

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