Tim Lukenda is stepping down from his position as president and CEO of Extendicare after a decade on the job.
The Markham, Ontario, company — which has some 120 senior care facilities across Canada — made the announcement Thursday morning. No reason was given for the departure, but the company said that it’s launched a search for new leadership. Lukenda, in his mid-50s, will stay about until Dec. 31.
“Tim has been an invaluable part of Extendicare during his 10-year tenure as president and CEO,” said Alan Torrie, chairman of Extendicare. “Over the last three years, Tim has overseen the transformation of the Company into a Canadian focused seniors care and services provider. I would like to thank Tim for his leadership, unwavering commitment to the company and countless contributions.”
Lukenda is a former investment banker and law school grad who took the leadership reins of the company in 2008. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Tendercare, which was acquired by Extendicare in 2007. His father, dentist Louis Lukenda, had purchased that Michigan company in the late 1980s and the two worked side by side for years, McKnight’s reported in 2009.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Lukenda said the decision “was not easy” but he felt it is “what is best for myself and the company.” He plans to stay on to help as the new CEO transitions into his or her role. “It has been a privilege to lead this organization and I am very proud of the significant progress that has been made,” he said.
In an interview with his hometown newspaper, the Sault Ste. Marie Sault Star, Lukenda said he does not plan to retire, and he will “take some time” to figure out what comes next. A former college hockey player, he plans to continue serving as president of the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds.
Lukenda said the biggest achievement his Extendicare career was selling off its U.S. businesses in 2015 for $870 million to a group of American investors.
“There’s no perfect time to make a change, but [I] decided now is the time for a change for me personally and from a company perspective to take on the next phase of our company,” Lukenda told The Sault Star. “I feel really optimistic about Extendicare’s future and where it’s heading.”