June 6, 2018

Athenahealth CEO departs, company considers deals

Photo | LinkedIn
Former CEO Jonathan Bush

Jonathan Bush has stepped down as president and CEO of the Watertown healthcare IT company athenahealth, the company announced Wednesday.

The company, which is based in Watertown, said Wednesday it is considering strategic alternatives including a potential sale, merger or continuing to operate as an independent company. It cautioned the review will not necessarily lead to a merger, sale or other transaction.

The Boston Globe reported Bush's departure comes amid his fight to keep control of the company against a hedge fund, Elliott Management, and new allegations against him of an incident from 2005 in which he physically attacked his then-wife.

Athenahealth offers medical record, billing, referral management and population health services to a network of 114,000 providers and 110 million patients.

The company said it will start a search process for Bush's replacement. Bush, who co-founded athenahealth in 1997, will also step down from his role on the athenahealth board. Jeffrey Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric, was named executive chairman Wednesday.

"I believe that working for something larger than yourself is the greatest thing a human can do," Bush said in a statement. "A family, a cause, a company, a country – these things give shape and purpose to an otherwise mechanical and brief human existence. Athenahealth is a near once in a life time example of such a thing."

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