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Bernard Tyson, CEO of healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, dies at 60

Fast Company Innovation Festival - Day 2
Bernard J. Tyson speaks at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City on Wednesday.
(Getty Images)

Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer of nonprofit healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, died Sunday in his sleep. He was 60.

Tyson became CEO of Oakland-based Kaiser in 2013 after working at the company for almost three decades, directing its hospital systems and leading its “Thrive” advertising campaign. He’d since increased the organization’s revenue and boosted membership in its insurance plans.

“Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader, and an honorable man,” Edward Pei, a director, said in a statement. “We will greatly miss him.”

Gregory A. Adams, an executive vice president at the insurer, was named interim chairman and CEO by the board.

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Tyson’s ascent to the CEO role coincided with the implementation of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a transformative time in American healthcare. The insurer’s revenue grew during his tenure, from $53 billion in the year he took the reins to $79.7 billion last year, according to the company’s website. It oversees health plans for more than 12 million customers, with about two-thirds of those in California.

In 2017, he was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list.

“During his tenure, Bernard has focused on public health and preventive care, rather than just treating disease, seeking to provide high-quality, affordable, accessible health care to all of its members,” wrote Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). “And from his position of considerable influence, he has brought an often overlooked aspect of medicine to the forefront: mental and emotional health.”


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