A new boss is in town for post-acute care giant Genesis Healthcare, and his first task will be delivering on a turnaround plan for the company after months of financial uncertainty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kennett Square, PA-based company on Tuesday announced that Harry Wilson will replace Robert Fish as its chief executive officer. The move comes nearly three months after Fish was appointed to the role after longtime CEO George V. Hager Jr. retired in early January.
Wilson spent his early career in the financial services sector and at age 37 accepted a key position in the task force tapped by the U.S. Treasury to restructure General Motors.
In 2011, the Harvard-educated executive founded MAEVA Group, a capital funding and corporate restructuring firm. MAEVA colleagues are expected to help Wilson in the Genesis turnaround effort.
Wilson, 49, also will join Genesis’ board of directors, replacing member James McKeon, while Fish will also serve as a board member.
David Harrington moves into the role of executive chairman of the board. He was brought aboard earlier this month as part of ReGen’s $50 million debt investment in Genesis. That bought ReGen a one-fourth ownership position in Genesis and two seats on the board, the other going to John Randazzo. ReGen’s stake in Genesis will climb to 43% if it delivers another $25 million by April 15.
Harrington on Wednesday touted Wilson as a “turnaround specialist” who has a “successful history of rapidly transforming businesses, driving significant improvements in customer service and unlocking value.”
‘Right plan’ will resurrect company
Wilson holds or has held positions on a variety of major corporations’ boards.
“I plan to work with our seasoned management team to develop the best path forward to continue delivering high-quality care to our residents and patients and unlock the potential of the company and its people,” Wilson said in a statement. “We will build the best foundation for long-term success expeditiously but thoughtfully.”
“While Genesis has important issues to address, and the sector has suffered through some very challenging times, I am confident that with the right plan, built with broad input across the entire organization, we will solve these issues with the appropriate focus and accountability,” he added.
Wilson has been a part of “some of the most complicated and successful U.S. restructurings of the past decade,” according to Genesis. He previously served as a partner at The Blackstone Group and Silver Point Capital. He’s also worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
He’s also been well-connected in New York politics. In 2010, he narrowly lost a race for state comptroller to the Democratic incumbent. In 2017, Republicans touted him as the party’s best hope to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He vowed to invest $10 million of his own funding if he ran, ultimately chose not to.
Genesis earlier this month announced a three-part restricting plan to improve the company’s financial and operational stability damaged by the pandemic. The plan included voluntary delisting of its common stock from the New York Stock Exchange, terminating its master lease with Welltower covering 51 facilities and the agreement with ReGen for an infusion of cash and new leadership.