UnityPoint CEO exits amid canceled merger

West Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health declared a new CEO on the same day it publicly called off a planned merger with Albuquerque, N.M.-based Presbyterian Health Services. 

The two health systems canceled the $11 billion transaction Oct. 11 without providing an official reason. An almost 50-hospital system would have been created out of the merger, with Presbyterian operating nine hospitals and UnityPoint responsible for 39 at the time. 

"We believe this decision allows us to better meet the needs of our patients, team members, communities and key stakeholders," Sally Gray, RN, board chair of UnityPoint Health, said in a news release. "As we move forward, UnityPoint Health is focused on identifying new, innovative ways to deliver low-cost, high-quality care to those we serve."

As a result of the pivot, Clay Holderman — who has served as UnityPoint's CEO since 2021 — will depart the system to "explore other professional opportunities," according to the release. Scott Kizer, UnityPoint's former chief legal officer, was promoted to the helm.

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