Jeff Park tabbed as interim CEO, Ben Wolin named chairman
Diplomat said Friday that board member Jeff Park has been named interim CEO, and independent lead director Ben Wolin has been appointed chairman. Both moves are effective immediately.
Diplomat’s board has launched a search for a permanent CEO and retained an executive search firm to assist with the effort. Plans call for Hagerman to serve as a consultant to the company during the CEO search process to ensure a smooth leadership transition and advise the management team on the execution of Diplomat’s growth plans and the integration of recent acquisitions.
In addition, Hagerman will remain as a member of the Diplomat board and become chairman emeritus.
“I am proud of all that Diplomat has accomplished since my father, Dale Hagerman, and I co-founded Diplomat more than 40 years ago,” Hagerman said in a statement. “Over this time, Diplomat has grown from an individual pharmacy in Flint, Mich., to the nation’s largest independent provider of specialty pharmacy services, reaching patients and providers across all 50 states. We have added great talent to Diplomat’s leadership team over the past year, and the time is right for this leadership change to help accelerate Diplomat’s growth into a broader based health care company.
Hagerman launched Diplomat with his father, Dale, in 1975. He served as a vice president before becoming CEO and chairman in 1991. Dale Hagerman died in October 2017 at age 90.
“I will continue to support the company as a consultant during this transition period and look forward to remaining involved with Diplomat as a member of the board,” Hagerman added.
Park has served as a director on Diplomat’s board since June. He was chief operating officer of OptumRx, a $75 billion entity resulting from the merger of pharmacy benefit managers Catamaran Corp. and UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx, from July 2015 to July 2016. Before the merger, he had served as Catamaran’s executive vice president operations since March 2014 and as its chief financial officer starting in 2006.
“I look forward to working closely with our talented management team and board to drive sustainable growth. Together, we will work to enhance our pharmacy capabilities and expand our service offerings to address the needs of our partners across the continuum of care, while continuing our unwavering focus on the health of patients we serve,” Park commented. “Our updated financial outlook demonstrates the momentum we are seeing across our business and positions us for a strong 2018. With the integration of our acquisitions of National Pharmaceutical Services and LDI Integrated Pharmacy Services under way, we are on track to meet growing demand for an affordable service model and increased access to complex therapies, strengthening our business for the long term.”
Diplomat noted that Park has substantial experience in the PBM and pharmacy industries and has led PBM, pharmacy and technology operations, as well as clinical and member services. He also has held key managerial, financial and operational responsibilities during his 11 years in the health care sector.
“Diplomat has a significant opportunity to enhance shareholder value by building on our recent acquisitions and accelerating our evolution from a specialty pharmacy provider to a broader health care company. While we have made meaningful progress over this past year, there remains work ahead to build on the growth plans we have in place. Phil and the Board have mutually determined that now is the right time to identify a new CEO to help drive the company forward and position Diplomat for long-term growth and success,” Wolin stated.
“Over the course of 2017, we have strengthened our senior leadership team and board to ensure we have the right talent, and we are pleased Jeff has agreed to step into the role of Interim CEO while we search for a permanent successor,” he added. “Jeff joined the board in June 2017 and brings a unique understanding and proven track record in the PBM and pharmacy industries. Throughout his career, Jeff has overseen the integration of over a dozen transactions, and we look forward to benefitting from his operational expertise as we continue to integrate our recent acquisitions.”
Wolin has served on the Diplomat board since October 2015 and as the independent lead director since last February. He was the co-founder and CEO of Everyday Health Inc., a provider of digital health and wellness solutions, from January 2002 until the company was sold to a subsidiary of j2 Global Inc. in December 2016.