Premier today announced that long-time CEO Susan DeVore will retire June 30. She will be succeeded as head of the group purchasing organization by current president Michael J. Alkire on May 1 but will remain with the Charlotte-based company for another month to help with the transition, according to a news release. DeVore will stay on as an advisor for another two years after that but will give up her seat on the company’s board of directors effective the date of her retirement.
Board Chair Terry Shaw said the announcement is the culmination of the board’s long-range succession planning process.
“Susan is an outstanding CEO whose formulation and execution of Premier’s strategy has been instrumental in establishing the company as an industry leader,” Shaw said in a prepared statement. “I believe Mike is the ideal person to lead the ongoing evolution of Premier’s long-term strategy. He is a talented executive and strong leader who has played a key role in driving Premier’s growth and success.”
The company last year underwent a restructuring, eliminating its dual-class ownership and terminating its Tax Receivable Agreement with its member-owners. Over the past few years, it has made acquisitions and expansions into further quality improvement.
The company, which reported $1.22 billion in net revenue in 2019, also amended its group purchasing agreements with the vast majority of its member-owners, which executives expect to reduce net administrative fees revenue between $100 million and $110 million in the 2021 fiscal year.
Alkire, who has 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, started with Premier in 2003 and previously served as the company’s COO before assuming the role of president in 2019.
Under Alkire’s leadership and after going public, Premier increased its group purchasing portfolio from $40 billion in 2012 to $67 billion today, the company said. Alkire also led the company’s adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence on its clinical decision support platform to streamline the prior authorization process and improve health system performance. He directed the launch of Premier’s direct sourcing business in 2010.
Before Premier, Akire held leadership positions at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young for 12 years. He earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and his MBA from Indiana University.
“I am honored to succeed Susan and look forward to leading Premier and its talented employees during such an important time for the healthcare industry,” Alkire said in a prepared statement. “I thank Susan for her leadership and guidance and am excited to work closely with the board and the entire Premier team to achieve our goals and succeed into the future.”
DeVore, a 30-year industry veteran, spent 18 years at Premier. Her father co-founded GPO SunHealth Alliance, one of the company’s predecessor. DeVore is a perennial on Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People, ranking No. 6 in 2020. She’s also ranked on the Top 25 Women in Healthcare list several times, earning a spot as a Luminary in 2019.
“It has been a privilege to lead Premier these past 12 years,” DeVore said in a prepared statement. “I am incredibly proud of all we have accomplished together and believe that now is the right time for Premier to transition to its next generation of leadership. Mike’s expertise and deep understanding of Premier’s strategy, operations, values and people make him the right leader.”