Bernard Tyson, Kaiser Permanente CEO dead at 60

Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente announced late Sunday morning that chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson passed away Sunday. He was 60 years old.

It is with profound sadness that we announce that Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, unexpectedly passed away early today in his sleep. On behalf of our Board of Directors, employees and physicians, we extend our deepest sympathies to Bernard’s family during this very difficult time. An outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans, Bernard was a tireless advocate for Kaiser Permanente, our members and the communities we serve. Most importantly, Bernard was a devoted husband, father and friend. We all will miss his tremendous presence in our lives.Effective immediately, the board of directors has named Gregory A. Adams, Executive Vice President and Group President, as interim Chairman and CEO.“Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader, and an honorable man. We will greatly miss him,” said board member Edward Pei, Chair of the Executive Committee and the Governance, Accountability and Nominating Committee. “The board has full confidence in Greg Adams’ ability to lead Kaiser Permanente through this unexpected transition.”

— Kaiser Permanente

It was announced that Executive Vice President and Group President Gregory Adams has been appointed as interim chairman and CEO of the health maintenance organization.

Tyson was appointed chairman CEO of Kaiser in 2013, part of a long career with the 11.8 million-member health plan that operates in eight states and the District of Columbia.

He started with Kaiser in 1997 as a hospital administrator and division president. From 2002-06 he was a senior vice president of brand strategy and management and authored the "Thrive" marketing slogan that Kaiser Permanente still uses today.

From there he rose to executive vice president and then president and chief operating officer, before his appointment as CEO.

He also served on the boards of Salesforce and the American Heart Association, according to his Linkedin profile.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 24: Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson speaks during the 29th annual Conference of the Professional Businesswomen of California (PBWC) on April 24, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The PBWC is a day of keynot

Tyson has been listed several times on rankings of most influential people in health care.

"Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader, and an honorable man. We will greatly miss him," said board member Edward Pei, Chair of the Executive Committee and the Governance, Accountability and Nominating Committee. "The board has full confidence in Greg Adams' ability to lead Kaiser Permanente through this unexpected transition."

Tyson earned a bachelor's degree in health management and a master's degree in business administration from Golden Gate University.

Bay City News contributed to this report.