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Do Hospital CEOs or NFL Coaches Have Better Job Security?

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 9, 2014

It comes with the territory. Professional football coaching is a high-pressure, high visibility, and results-driven business, and success—or failure—is there to see for anyone who is interested. Head coaches also are highly compensated, which puts a microscope on their achievement—or lack thereof.

NFL Coaches

Source: Carr Consultants

So what does this have to do with healthcare?

The average healthcare CEO tenure is shorter than the average NFL head coach's.

I was initially shocked to learn this. Hospital CEOs have worse job security than a group whose job security is constantly in question—and microscopically evaluated.

Turnover among hospital CEOs was historically significant in 2013. It has hovered between 14% and 16% yearly since 1981. But it spiked in 2013, to 20%. That means one in five CEOs was replaced in 2013, a record high.

Why is this happening at a higher rate than normal?

Well, put simply, healthcare is in a state of upheaval, and leadership is no exception.

Autonomy Waning
Let's dive in a little further and look at some reporting I've done on the issues behind this. Certainly, CEOs are, as a group, an older segment of the population. And like the rest of their demographic cohort, a huge number of them are part of the baby boom generation, which is nearing or at retirement age.

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