Immelt Named Athenahealth Chairman as Firm’s Transition Rolls On

Former GE chief executive Jeff Immelt is keeping busy. Healthcare IT firm Athenahealth said Wednesday that Immelt (pictured on the left) has been appointed chairman of its board of directors, effective immediately.

Watertown, MA-based Athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN) said Immelt will make a financial investment in the company (an undisclosed amount) and “plans to purchase approximately $1 million of Athenahealth common stock in the open market.”

Last week, it was announced that Immelt signed on as a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates. According to NEA, he will be based in the Bay Area—where he is also co-teaching a Stanford graduate business course this spring—but will spend time in Boston, New York, and other cities.

Athenahealth has been going through a transition period. The company announced in October it was laying off 9 percent of its staff and closing offices in San Francisco and Princeton, NJ. The moves were part of a $100 million cost-reduction plan and a series of strategic initiatives “to create a more focused and efficient company,” according to a press release.

Jonathan Bush, Athenahealth’s CEO, co-founder, and former chairman, has no doubt seen his duties shift as well. In a prepared statement about Immelt’s new role, Bush said, “Jeff shares our vision for more connected, efficient, and human-centered healthcare; and like us, believes a platform-oriented business and technology strategy is fundamental to executing against that vision.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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