Hospital directors need to reevaluate CEO duties
Before the board of directors of Sierra View District Hospital begin a search for a new Chief Executive Officer to replace Joe Stewart, we strongly suggest the board reconsider the duties and limitations placed upon the CEO.
We were quite surprised to learn that not only did senior management not have to answer to the CEO, but that senior management had direct access to at least one board member, maybe more. Those senior managers have all contracts with the board, and the CEO needs a majority of the board to hire or fire any of those managers. They, reportedly, also have buyout clauses in their contracts.
Not having the senior team answer to the CEO is like having sailors on a ship not having to answer to the captain. We wonder how can a person be given the responsibility to oversee and direct an organization, especially a $130 million operation, without complete authority over his or her lieutenants. And, that situation would only be made worse if board members allow senior managers to go over the head of their supposed boss and overrule decisions made by the CEO.
Mr. Stewart said he would have had second thoughts about taking the Sierra View job had he known the structure, and hopefully any new candidates will be made clearly aware of the situation. It is not common practice and anyone would have to think twice about taking a job at Sierra View if they do not have complete authority.
If the board continues with the current setup, then we would hope that the pay scale for the CEO certainly be significantly scaled back. After all, if they are not totally responsible, then they certainly should not be paid $366,0000 a year as Mr. Stewart was paid. That is among the top three salaries in the county.
The hospital board of directors has created a bad situation that could make finding a viable CEO difficult and that situation needs to be rectified.