El Camino Hospital announced on Feb. 10 that CEO Ken Graham will end his contract with the organization on June 30. An official hospital release said Graham's tenure, which has lasted nearly five years, is ending "without cause, at the request of the hospital's board of directors."
Wesley Alles, the board's chairman, has been charged with forming an executive search committee to find a replacement for Graham. During his time at El Camino, Graham oversaw the construction of the new, seismically sound, state-of-the-art hospital building and the acquisition and opening of the Los Gatos campus.
The CEO also presided over one of the toughest financial periods El Camino has faced in more than a decade. In July 2010 the hospital began its curent fiscal year in the red and in September announced that about 140 employees, including service workers, nurses, and administrators would likely lose their jobs. Ultimately, some administrative positions were cut, but no nurses or service workers were forced to leave, although some did take buyouts.
More recently, in November, in a split decision the hospital's board imposed a "last, best and final offer" contract on its nurses, drawing ire from the nurses union, Professional Resource for Nurses, or PRN. The decision, which two board members opposed, was supported by Graham, and he was criticized by many PRN members.
However, in the hospital's brief statement, which was released at 4 p.m. Thursday, Alles focused on the positive things Graham had overseen during his tenure, like El Camino's "re-designation as a nurse Magnet Hospital, a praiseworthy Joint Commission survey, the establishment of the Women's Hospital and the Center for Advanced Radiosurgery."
Graham will maintain all of his responsibilities during the transition period.
"As with all CEOs, it is my role to serve at the will of the Board," Graham said in the statement. "The El Camino Hospital team has had many accomplishments in the past 4 1/2 years, and I am confident that the hospital will continue to do very well. "