OAKLAND, Calif. — It is with profound sadness that we announce that Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, unexpectedly passed away early Sunday morning 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.”
Bernard J. Tyson, born January 20, 1959, assumed the role of CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals — known as Kaiser Permanente — in 2013, and was named chairman of the board of directors in 2014.
Tyson’s career at Kaiser Permanente spanned more than 30 years, and he had successfully managed all major aspects of the organization during that time, serving in roles from hospital administrator and division president to chief operating officer.
Under Tyson’s leadership, Kaiser Permanente led and set the expectation for delivering affordable, accessible, high-quality health care and improving the health of its members and the 68 million residents in its communities. When Tyson became CEO in 2013, Kaiser Permanente had 9.1 million members, employed a workforce of 174,000, included 17,000 physicians, and generated $53 billion in annual revenue. Today the organization provides care and coverage to 12.3 million members, has a workforce of 218,000 employees, includes 23,000 physicians, and annual revenue of more than $82.8 billion.
Tyson’s influence was felt both nationally and internationally. TIME included him on its list of the most influential people in the world and named him one of the Health Care 50. Also, in addition to being named by Modern Healthcare as one of the most influential people in health care for 5 consecutive years, he was No. 2 on the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list and on Fast Company’s list of most creative people.
Tyson served on the boards of directors for the American Heart Association and Salesforce. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, served as Deputy Chairman of the Americas of the International Federation of Health Plans, was the former chair of American Health Insurance Plans and a steward of the World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge on the Future of Health and Healthcare. Tyson was also member of the Business Council and Bay Area Council, a business-led public policy organization advocating for a strong economy and better quality of life for Bay Area residents.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Tyson earned a Master of Business Administration in Health Service Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Health Service Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He earned a leadership certificate from Harvard University.
Bernard is survived by his wife, Denise Bradley-Tyson, and three sons; Bernard J. Tyson Jr., Alexander and Charles.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.