Kaiser promotes Tyson to be CEO, chairman

Kaiser Permanente’s board said it would promote a veteran executive to be the next chairman and chief executive of the healthcare giant, effective next year.

Bernard J. Tyson will replace George Halvorson, 65, who announced last month that he was retiring after a long tenure at the helm of the Oakland company. Halvorson was instrumental in building Kaiser into the nation’s largest nonprofit insurer and hospital system, with more than 9 million customers and nearly $50 million in annual revenue. It employs 17,000 physicians nationwide.

Kaiser is the largest health maintenance organization in California with about 6.6 million members. It also runs 35 hospitals in the state.

Tyson, 53, has been Kaiser’s president and chief operating officer for the last two years. He joined the company in San Francisco as a director of outpatient medical records when he was 25 and aspired to become a hospital administrator.


He climbed the ladder during his 28-year Kaiser career, and he’s credited with helping create the company’s “Thrive” advertising campaign.

Tyson said he would assume the CEO role in May and take over as chairman in December 2013. Tyson said the firm was looking to expand within its existing markets in nine states and Washington, D.C., as well as reducing administrative costs.

In 2010, the latest information available, Tyson earned $2.3 million in salary and other compensation, according to Kaiser’s federal tax filing.