Following Nixed Baylor Merger, Memorial Hermann CEO to Step Down

CEO and president of Memorial Hermann Health System Chuck Stokes will retire from the Houston-based provider at the end of the year, according to the Houston Business Journal. He has been in the position less than two years.

Stokes has been with Houston’s largest nonprofit health system since 2008, serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer before he became CEO in July 2017.

“I have penned many memos in my 40-year career, but none as difficult as this,” HBJ reports. “It is with bittersweet emotions and profound gratitude that today I announce my decision to retire at the end of this calendar year.”

Last fall, Baylor Scott and White Health System announced a merger with Memorial Hermann, and Stokes was slated to join Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton (who would have been the CEO) in the office of the CEO. The merger would have created a health care system with almost 14,000 physicians and 68 hospitals worth over $14 billion. It would have been Texas’ largest health system.

In early February, the two systems called off their merger, saying that they could better achieve their goals independently. Baylor’s hospitals are more profitable than their Houston counterparts, and there is plenty of speculation about what knocked the merger off course. Worries about anti-trust regulation, the costs of combining, and leadership redundancies all could have been the culprits.

Read the Houston Business Journal story here.