Piedmont Newnan president and CEO to retire Aug. 31

by Bradley Hartsell

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G. Michael Bass, president and CEO of Piedmont Newnan Hospital, has announced his retirement, effective Aug. 31.

The news came as a shock to the community, including Piedmont's South Region CEO, Mike Robertson, whom Bass reports to. According to Bass, when Robertson asked him how long he planned to stay after announcing his retirement, 30 days blindsided Robertson.

The abruptness of the announcement and some corporate restructuring in April when Kevin Brown took over as systems CEO had some saying Bass was forced out.

Bass said such rumors are 'absolutely, positively untrue.'

Bass, 65, speculates the rumors stem from Brown's arrival and subsequent shakeup (which didn't affect Piedmont Newnan) and the fact Bass has been telling people over the past year he planned to retire no later than June 2014.

When Piedmont Newnan opened its new facility in May 2012, many in the medical community thought Bass would retire after working so hard to open its doors. Bass said he always insisted he wanted to see the hospital thrive, which it did by being named 2012 Small Hospital of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals.

Retiring before June 2014 may have raised questions, but Bass said he made the decision with his wife at their Florida vacation home.

'I asked my wife, 'should I stay until June 2014 just for the heck of it?'' Bass recalls. 'Or should I wait until December 31 [of this year]? Finally, we decided to just do it now.'

Bass, 65, is adamant about retiring while he's still active and able to play more golf, scuba dive and go scalloping in Florida. He jokes he might get 'bored to tears' trying to fill the 60 hours a week he's used to working, or worse yet, being around all the time and messing up his wife's routine.

Though looking forward to retirement and Florida sunshine (and away from local winters), Bass admits it's 'bittersweet.'

'It's tough to leave a family,' he says of Piedmont Newnan, a place he has served as CEO for eight years. For Bass, going out on top was important.

Topping the success of 2012, a banner year for Piedmont Newnan, would be impossible, he said. With Piedmont Newnan's achievements at their apex, Bass knew it was the right time for the 'young whippersnappers' to take over. Bass is confident Piedmont Newnan has the infrastructure and vision to continue its success. Nathan Nipper, COO of Piedmont Newnan, will continue his role overseeing daily operations, while Robertson will assume the CEO role in addition to his CEO position of Piedmont's South Region.



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