Philip Benjamson is the new senior VP and chief operating officer for AlerisLife (Nasdaq: ALR), the senior living operator announced today.
Benjamson comes to AlerisLife with 25 years in the senior living industry under his belt, including two stints as a COO — first with Blake Management Group from 2016 to 2018 and then again with Resort Lifestyle Communities from 2018 to 2021. Most recently Benjamson worked as VP of senior housing operations with Trinity Health Senior Communities.
Benjamson “will have an immediate impact on improving our operations,” company President and CEO Jeff Leer said in a press release about the hiring.
“He has deep senior living industry knowledge and experience and brings an impressive track record of strategic planning and execution that has resulted in sustained operational excellence,” Leer said. “We are excited to draw on Philip’s expertise as we continue to implement our restructuring plan to improve our operating results.”
Benjamson’s hiring comes only about a month after the Newton Massachusetts-based company appointed Heather Pereira to senior VP, treasurer and CFO. Pereira filled the role previously occupied by Leer, who made the jump from COO to interim CEO before the company made his appointment permanent in June.
AlerisLife, which rebranded from Five Star Senior Living in January, is currently engaged in a restructuring plan that earlier this year involved cutting some corporate overhead positions and retooling operations. The company hired the professional consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal earlier this year to help with the plan.
The company reported an $8.8 million dollar net loss in the second quarter of 2022, which was an improvement over the $9.7 million net loss in the first quarter of 2022. And the company reported a second-quarter increase in occupancy of 340 basis points, rising to an overall average rate of just over 75%.
As part of that plan, the company is seeking to reduce annual costs by about $14 million. It will achieve this by slashing redundant business processes and reducing investments in “non-core functions,” switching to information technology systems to better support the operator, and identifying new opportunities to trim general and administrative expenses.
AlerisLife also invested $4 million in the company’s corporate restructuring, an investment that included both Benjamson and Pereira’s hiring. The operator is also investing in a national operations infrastructure and centralizing sales and marketing efforts.