Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN) announced Tuesday that Harry Wilson will take the reins as the company’s new CEO.
Wilson — a “highly regarded turnaround specialist,” according to Genesis — previously led the restructuring of General Motors on behalf of the U.S. Treasury, and founded the corporate turnaround firm Maeva Group. He replaces Robert Fish, who filled in as CEO after the retirement of former CEO George Hager Jr. in January.
Genesis has run into lofty challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, culminating in the company warning its future as a going concern was in “substantial doubt” last August. The Kennett Square, Pennsylvania-based company has a portfolio of more than 325 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities in 24 states.
Wilson will also join the company’s board with his appointment, replacing James McKeon; Fish will remain a member of the board. The board also appointed David Harrington to the role of executive chairman. He is one of two directors appointed by health care turnaround firm ReGen Healthcare earlier this month to fill seats on Genesis’ board.
“The board and I would like to thank Bob Fish for stepping in to lead Genesis after the retirement of the Company’s longtime CEO, as well as Jim McKeon for his many years of dedication to Genesis,” Harrington said in a press release about Wilson’s appointment. “We are excited to welcome Mr. Wilson, and his highly regarded company, as we quickly chart a path to recovery. Mr. Wilson has a successful history of rapidly transforming businesses, driving significant improvements in customer service and unlocking value.”
As CEO, Wilson will focus his attention on creating and implementing the company’s turnaround plan. He also will prioritize “building a foundation for future innovation and growth as a national leader in eldercare,” according to Genesis.
“I am very excited to lead the team at Genesis through this challenging period to an exciting future,” Wilson said in the release. “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’s appointment comes just weeks after Welltower (NYSE: WELL) substantially exited its operating relationship with Genesis, giving some of the nursing home giant’s buildings to another operating partner, ProMedica.
Welltower agreed to pay Genesis an $86 million lease termination fee under the transactions, which the skilled nursing operator vowed to immediately pay back to reduce its debt. When Genesis hits “certain restructuring milestones,” the REIT will reduce its loans by another $170 million in exchange for a 15% equity stake in the operator.
The moves were part of a series of real estate deals totaling $880 million in value.