For healthcare CEOs in early 2017, it’s hasta la vista, baby

At least four healthcare executives have either resigned, been fired or taken on a lesser role since the first of the year — and the head of NIH may be out soon, too.

Terminator 3

The new year is all of five days old, and already there has been a lot of carnage in healthcare boardrooms. At least four healthcare executives have either resigned, been fired or taken on a lesser role since the first of the year — and a major federal healthcare leader may be out soon, too.

Politico Pro tweeted Thursday afternoon that National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins “expects to step down.”

Collins had said last month that he would stay on during the Trump administration if he were asked to do so.

As for the ones who are definitely on their way out, the biggest name is J. Craig Venter, CEO of Human Longevity Inc., who is stepping aside Jan. 9. Venter, who turns 70 this year, recently had surgery for an aggressive form of prostate cancer, though an HLI spokesperson said the decision was not health-related.

As previously planned, David Ricks took over as CEO of Eli Lilly & Co. on Jan. 1, following the retirement of John Lechleiter. Thursday, the pharma giant announced that Lilly USA President Alex Azar “has decided to leave Lilly to pursue other career opportunities.” That’s usually corporate-speak for, “Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.”

Castlight Health acquired Jiff in a deal that closed Thursday. As part of the transaction, Giovanni Colella ceded the CEO reins to former Castlight President and Chief Operating Officer John Doyle.

And Tuesday, the first business day of the new year, Gaspard de Dreuzy was downgraded from CEO to president of Pager. New CEO Walter Jin had been executive chairman.

NOTE: This story has been updated to remove a reference to the sale of the building that houses the headquarters of diagnostics company Theranos.

Photo: Facebook user Terminator3Movie