Jonathan Bush, CEO, president and co-founder of Athenahealth, has stepped down, and the Watertown-based company may be sold, company officials announced Wednesday.
Reports surfaced last week of complaints against Bush acting inappropriate with female employees at an industry, and in late May it was reported that he had physically assaulted his now ex-wife more than a decade ago. Bush is a nephew of former President George H.W. Bush.
At the same time, the health care technology company has been the target of activist hedge fund Elliot Management Corp., which made an offer to purchase the company for $160 a share. The fund contends that Athena had been mismanaged.
On Wednesday, Athenahealth officials released a statement announcing Bush’s departure. In the interim, Jeff Immelt, Chairman of Athenahealth, has been appointed Executive Chairman. He was appointed chairman of Athenahealth’s board on February 7, 2018, and served as Chairman and CEO of GE from 2001 to 2017.
Immelt said at the same time that Athena’s Board of Directors searches for a new CEO, it will also consider the future of the company.
“… the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale or merger or continuing as an independent company under new leadership,” Immelt said in a statement. “We approach this process with an open mind and a commitment to continuing to strengthen the company — including its rich data asset, platform strategy, and culture of innovation. We are fully focused on serving the best interests of our shareholders, employees and clients.”
Athenahealth’s headquarters are in the Arsenal on the Charles, which the company purchased from Harvard University. A major renovation and expansion project is currently underway at the complex on Arsenal Street.
The company also has entered an agreement, called I-Cubed with the Town of Watertown and the Department of Conservation and Recreation to do $25 million of infrastructure improvements around the Arsenal on the Charles.