[Update] Brookdale President to Step Down in Latest Executive Shakeup

Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) announced today that Mark Ohlendorf, the company’s president, and Kristin Ferge, the company’s executive vice president and former chief accounting officer and treasurer, will step down in the coming weeks. The company’s CEO, Andy Smith, will assume the role of president and CEO, according to a company press release.

The changes follow the recent hires of Labeed Diab to the chief operating officer position and Cindy Baier as CFO; which in part led to reviewing the company’s organizational structure, Smith said.

“As we’ve worked through the transition process following the hiring of Labeed Diab as our new chief operating officer and Cindy Baier as our new chief financial officer late last year, we have continued to refine our thinking regarding the organizational structure necessary to position us for future growth and success,” Smith said in a company press release. “As a result of that review, we have determined that it is best to move most of the functions currently reporting to Mark and Kristin to the organizations headed by Labeed and Cindy.”


Brookdale declined to comment further to Senior Housing News on the leadership restructuring.

The nation’s largest senior living provider is announcing the changes after several challenging quarters, specifically relating to integration hurdles around Brookdale’s 2014 acquisition of Emeritus Senior Living.

The company has been pressured in recent months to spin off its real estate into a separate entity, also calling its management into question. Its shares slid sharply after the company recently lowered expectations for 2016.


“Mark’s departure is another move by the Brookdale board in its efforts to turn the company, and stock price, around,” analyst Kevin Tyler of Green Street Advisors told SHN. “Veteran-executive Andy Smith is left with a sizable weight on his shoulders as he seeks to right the ship, given recent executive departures and the short tenure of new hires.”

In their existing roles, Diab will oversee Brookdale’s service alignment and owner relations functions, while Baier will oversee pricing, revenue cycle management and analytics efforts, the company said. Smith will oversee the company’s corporate development, strategy and innovation initiatives. Ohlendorf’s departure will take effect March 18, with Ferge’s departure effective March 11.

Ohlendorf has worked for Brookdale as president since June 2013. Prior to that, he served as co-president from 2005 and as chief financial officer from March 2007. Previously, he served as Alterra Healthcare’s president and CEO.

“On behalf of our Board and everyone at Brookdale, I want to express our sincere thanks to Mark and Kristin for their tremendous leadership over the years” Smith said. “They are talented and dedicated leaders who have made many valuable contributions to our company, and we wish them all the best.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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