P.M. BRIEFING : American Medical Cuts No. 2 Post

From Times wire services

American Medical International Inc. today ousted its No. 2 executive, deeming his position redundant as the nationwide hospital company based in Beverly Hills struggles to boost profits by streamlining operations.

The departure of Gene E. Burleson, 48, who was president, chief operating officer and a director, was termed a resignation in the company’s announcement. Burleson’s duties will be assumed by Richard A. Gilleland, who was installed as chairman and chief executive officer in January, said American Medical spokesman Mick Taylor. The move was expected as Gilleland consolidated control of the company, said analyst Todd Richter, who follows the company for Dean Witter Capital Markets in New York.

The streamlining efforts included sale of 36 hospitals to an employee stock plan in September and layoffs last year of 300 of the company’s 1,500 headquarters staff.