One of the largest skilled nursing operators in the country is making a change at its top position.

The Ensign Group announced Thursday morning that Chief Operating Officer Barry Port will step into the role of CEO effective May 30. Meanwhile, current chief Christopher Christensen is being appointed as executive chairman of the Mission Viejo, CA, healthcare company, where he will focus on growth opportunities and new business ventures.

Christopher Christensen

“Having Ensign in my life has truly been, and will continue to be, a gift,” Christensen said in a statement. “The truth is, in all my years at Ensign, I have never been more energized or exhilarated about the opportunities that lie ahead,” he added later.

Ensign is the fifth largest nursing home chain in the U.S., according to a recent analysis, with about 170 such facilities and counting. The company has been on a buying binge of late and recorded nearly $191 million in revenue from its transitional and skilled services segment, a 36% increase compared to last year.

Officials announced several other leadership changes Thursday, including the appointment of Spencer Burton — president of Ensign’s Northwest-based portfolio company, Pennant Healthcare — as COO. Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Snapper will also add the title of executive VP to her resume, and Chad Keetch, current EVP and secretary, will be appointed as chief investment officer while retaining those two roles.

Ensign officials were not available for comment late Thursday.