Sunrise Senior Living Was Quiet But Innovative Under Winkle

As this tumultuous year comes to a close, we’re digesting some more big industry news: the departureof Sunrise Senior Living CEO Chris Winkle.

Sunrise quietly announced his exit in a press release posted to the company website, and did not offer information about his reasons for leaving or whether his exit indicates any change in direction for the company. This is not surprising — in my experience, Sunrise has always played it close to the vest, being very selective about when to speak with the press and how much to disclose publicly.

That’s why I was surprised at how forthcoming Chris was when I interviewed him for our Leadership Series back in 2018. I looked over that interview in light of his exit. Some points stand out to me, including some comments that didn’t make it into the published version, because they highlight ways in which Sunrise is a misunderstood and quietly innovative company.

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