End of an era at HCA

Tommy Frist to step down from HCA board, will be replaced by son

HCA last night said co-founder and former CEO Tommy Frist Jr. will step down from its board at the beginning of next year.

Over four decades, Frist was instrumental in turning HCA into the nation's leading hospital company. Together with his father and Jack Massey, he took the company public a year after its 1968 founding, took it private in 1989 and public again three years later. After stepping out of active management, he returned to the fore later on in the 1990s to right HCA's ship following its merger with Columbia.

More recently, he, along with members of his family and HCA executives, was part of the investment group that took HCA private again for more than $30 billion two years ago.

His seat on the board of HCA will be taken by his son, Billy Frist, who has been a principal at Frist Capital, one of the family's investment vehicles, since 2003. 

Frist's departure from the board will come soon following the retirement of longtime CEO Jack Bovender. Bovender will serve as  executive chairman until next December.

In the same filing, HCA also said it will pay CEO-to-be Richard Bracken a little more than $1.3 million in base salary next year. Bracken, who is now the hospital giant's COO, will also be eligible for another $1.7 million in bonuses.

To read yesterday's full 8-K filing, click here.