CHS' Wayne Smith drops 'executive' from board chair role

Community Health Systems' Wayne T. Smith will retire from the role of executive chairman of the board of directors and carry on as non-executive chairman of the board, effective Jan. 1, 2023. 

In its Dec. 2 announcement, Franklin, Tenn.-based CHS said Mr. Smith's transition is part of a succession plan that started in January 2021 when Mr. Smith stepped down from the CEO position, succeeded by Tim Hingtgen. Mr. Smith had served as CEO of the 81-hospital system since 1997. 

Mr. Smith is one of the most tenured executives in healthcare. He joined CHS as president in January 1997 before adding on the CEO title in April 1997, when he also joined the board of directors. In 2001, he was elected chairman of the board. He dropped the title of president in 2014 and stepped down as CEO to become executive chairman in January 2021. Before his tenure with CHS, Mr. Smith was president and COO of Humana. He spent 23 years with the insurer in various management positions.

CHS' board includes 12 members and directors, including Mr. Smith in his role as chairman. 

"Wayne Smith is a titan of the healthcare industry — a bold, entrepreneurial and visionary leader who has left an indelible mark on our organization and who has always used his position and influence to advocate for healthcare providers and the patients we serve," Mr. Hingtgen said. "We are fortunate that the company will continue to benefit from Wayne's expertise and guidance as the chairman of our board."


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