Sanford rehired former CFO ahead of merger cancellation

Sanford Health's former CFO announced her departure weeks before the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based system called off its proposed mega-merger with Fairview Health Services. A former finance chief has come back from retirement to temporarily fill the role. 

Bill Marlette assumed the role of interim CFO in June, Sanford Health confirmed to Becker's Aug. 7. He previously served as the health system's CFO and treasurer, but retired in 2021 after more than 30 years with the health system. 

Mr. Marlette takes the reins back from Michelle Bruhn, who assumed the top finance job at Phoenix Children's on July 17. He rejoined the system several weeks before it killed a monthslong merger conversation, which would have included a $500 million investment in Minneapolis-based Fairview. The merger was canceled following a lack of support from "certain  Minnesota stakeholders," according to Bill Gassen, Sanford's president and CEO. 

"We are grateful for Michelle’s more than 20 years of service to our organization and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors," the health system told Becker's. "Sanford Health is undergoing a search for a permanent chief financial officer."

Editor's Note: This story was updated on August 7 at 9:27 p.m. 

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