Azar submits resignation: 5 things to know

HHS Secretary Alexander Azar tendered his resignation to President Donald Trump Jan. 12. He will exit his role Jan. 20.

Five things to know:

1. The resignation letter, shared on Twitter by Mr. Azar Jan. 15, states his departure is a result of the change in administration. President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Mr. Azar clarified in a separate tweet that he "handed in my letter this week along with every other political appointee, effective January 20 at noon."

2. Mr. Azar said the ongoing pandemic, vaccine rollout, and need for a smooth transition of power is why he is staying in the role through Jan. 20. 

3. In his letter, he cited the Trump administration's vaccine effort, Operation Warp Speed, as a success of his tenure. He also cited health information technology and price transparency, among others, as efforts he was proud of during his time leading HHS. 

4. He did cite recent violence at the U.S. Capitol in his letter. He wrote: "Unfortunately, the actions and rhetoric following the election, especially during this past week, threaten to tarnish these and other historic legacies of this Administration. The attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States of America first brought to the world." He called on President Trump to continue condemning violence, demand no disruptions of President-elect Biden's inauguration and complete a peaceful transition of power.

5. Mr. Azar became the 24th HHS Secretary on Jan. 25, 2018. Previously, he served as the general counsel for HHS from 2001-05, then as deputy secretary from 2005-07. Mr. Azar was a senior executive at pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly from 2007-17.

More articles on leadership and management:
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Corner Office: Henry Ford Health System exec says she's driven by golden rule
What hospitals are learning as they distribute the COVID-19 vaccine 

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