CaroMont CEO Fired in Wake of Failed "Cheat Death" Campaign

The board of directors for Gastonia, N.C.-based CaroMont Health has fired system President and CEO Randall Kelley in the wake of opposition from physicians and CaroMont's recently recalled "Cheat Death" campaign, according to a Charlotte Observer report.

In a 8-2 vote, the board fired Mr. Kelley after a lengthy board meeting last night that went past 11 p.m. CaroMont COO Douglas Luckett was named interim president and CEO. Mr. Kelley had served at the helm of the system since January 2012.

Mr. Kelley's departure comes shortly after CaroMont recalled a controversial campaign and amid tension with local physicians.   

Two physicians from Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., authored an op-ed in Monday's Gaston Gazette, urging the board to address the "disconnected, adversarial and close-minded management style" of Mr. Kelley and his executive team.

Op-ed authors Frederic Levy, MD, and Steven Yates, MD, have practiced at Gaston Memorial for more than 20 years. They said the system's controversial and failed "Cheat Death" branding campaign was offensive and reflective of Mr. Kelley's disconnected management team.

The physicians claim Mr. Kelley and other executives have alienated community-based physicians, threatening them with termination or the risk of being replaced by out-of-state contractors, according to the op-ed. As a result, "a group of more than 20 respected, well-trained, experienced doctors have all resigned in recent months," the physicians wrote.   

The op-ed said dozens of physicians spoke to CaroMont's board of directors and many asked the board to remove the hospital's administration.

Editor's note:
A previous version of this article reported that Mr. Kelley joined CaroMont in November 2011. Mr. Kelley was actually named president and CEO of CaroMont in November 2011. He joined the system in January 2012.

More Articles on CaroMont Health:

2 CaroMont Trustees Urged to Resign Over Conflicts of Interest in "Cheat Death" Campaign
CaroMont Pulls Controversial "Cheat Death" Tagline
CaroMont's New "Cheat Death" Slogan Sparks Criticism

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