DaVita CEO steps down after 20 years

Kent Thiry, CEO of Denver-based DaVita, is stepping down from the role, effective June 1. The kidney care services company's board selected Javier J. Rodriguez to succeed him.

Mr. Thirty will move from chairman and CEO to executive chairman of DaVita's board of directors. He has served as CEO of the organization since 1999 and has served as chairman or co-chairman of the board since then. During his tenure, DaVita has grown to include close to 3,000 dialysis centers in 10 countries, Peter T. Grauer, lead independent director of the organization's board, said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Rodriguez most recently served as CEO of DaVita Kidney Care, one of the organization's major divisions. He joined the company in 1998 and has served in several leadership roles since. He previously worked for Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter Health Care Corp. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston. Mr. Rodriguez will join the DaVita board when he assumes the CEO role June 1.

The leadership transition is part of a multiyear succession plan that considered both internal and external candidates for the CEO position.

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