LHSC addresses leadership changes after departures of several executives
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) held a press conference Thursday afternoon to address several changes in leadership over the past few months.
The hospital system, the largest in southwestern Ontario, has seen five executives leave their posts in recent months.
The latest was the vice-president of finance and chief financial officer Jacqui Davison, who announced her departure in an online post. The hospital confirmed that Davison had resigned earlier this week.
Previous to Davison’s departure CTV News London reported the sudden departure of two more top executives earlier this month.
Neil Johnson, executive vice president and chief operating officer, as well as Susan Nickle, executive vice president, general counsel and chief people officer were announced to no longer be employed by LHSC on June 9.
The firing was without cause, and the decision was made by Interim President and CEO Jackie Schleifer Taylor, who informed the board of directors after the decision had been carried out.
“I certainly made those decisions, and advised the board of my decisions and they did support the reasoning and rationale for the leadership restructuring going forward.”
Schleifer Taylor says work is underway to find interim replacements for the senior leadership team that will last until the end of the year.
“I’m not going to make any permanent recruitment decisions for this role. We need to ensure, as a hospital that there is some nimbleness, for a new permanent CEO that the board selects to have full freedom to recruit the talent they feel is appropriate for the organization.”
Johnson worked at the hospital in various leadership roles over 33 years and recently oversaw the mass vaccination clinic at the Western Fair District Agriplex.
At the time of their departure several questions from CTV News London including issues related to severance pay were not answered by the hospital.
The departures come following a tumultuous year for the hospital which saw former CEO Paul Woods let go for travelling to the U.S. during the pandemic.
Woods maintains his travel was within the rules and that board was aware of his trips. He then filed a $3.5-million lawsuit against the hospital following his contract’s termination.
Schleifer Taylor says she is not involved in the search for a permanent CEO, as it is being carried out by an external company.
When asked if she has applied for the post she responded, “to my knowledge that hasn’t been a call for, or an invitation for applications, so no, I have not.”
An email statement from the board of directors at LHSC says they were apprised of Schleifer Taylor's restructuring.
"The board is fully supportive of the changes that have been made at the senior leader level and believes the reconfiguration of the leadership team will enable the organization to continue to meet COVID and non-COVID care needs, and support LHSC through the expected recovery phase."
With files from CTV's Daryl Newcombe.