By Darryl Coote
Nov. 10 (UPI) — Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, died unexpectedly Sunday in his sleep at the age of 60, the not-for-profit healthcare company said.
“On behalf of our board of directors, employees and physicians, we extend our deepest sympathies to Bernard’s family during this very difficult time,” the company said in a statement. “An outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans, Bernard was a tireless advocate for Kaiser Permanente, our members and the communities we serve.”
Tyson spent more than 30 years with the company serving in an array of roles from hospital administrator to division president before being named CEO in 2013 and chairman of the board of directors in 2014, according to his bio on the company website.
Under his stewardship, the healthcare provider said it expanded from 9.1 million members to 12.3 million members to date and its annual revenue grew from $53 billion to $82.8 billion.
Gregory A. Adams, executive vice president and group president, has been named interim chairman and CEO, effective immediately, the company said.
“Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader and an honorable man,” said board member Edward Pei. “The board has full confidence in Greg Adams’ ability to lead Kaiser Permanente through this unexpected transition.”
The cause of his death was not disclosed. The day before his death, Tyson participated in Afro Tech, a convention for black entrepreneurs in Oakland, Calif.
“We’re honored to have shared his presence and learned about his journey at [Afro Tech],” the event said on Twitter. “We join his loved ones in mourning this loss and celebrating his legacy.”
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, called Tyson one of “the world’s greatest CEOs.”
“A light unto this world has gone out. Bernard Tyson, our loving friend and board member, has passed away,” the entrepreneur said via Twitter. “He always did so much for others and the world.”