Cookie comments influenced decision to dismiss Duckett
The chairman of Alberta Health Services (AHS) Ken Hughes has admitted Dr. Stephen Duckett's unusual exchange with reporters that made headlines around the world influenced the board's decision to dismiss the CEO and president.
Duckett became a hot topic in Edmonton and around the world after a 2-minute and 13-second exchange with reporters, including CTV, in which he refused to answer questions about health care reforms -- because he was eating a cookie.
And that unusual encounter influenced the 14-member of Alberta Health Services to boot Duckett.
"His ability to conduct the leadership role that he was charged with was compromised," said Hughes.
Hughes announced Duckett's dismissal to media Wednesday afternoon after the board met twice in the past 24 hours to discuss the fate of Duckett's career with AHS.
Hughes said both the board and Duckett jointly agreed that "now is the time to move on."
But following that, one board member, Gord Bontje from Red Deer, has already submitted his resignation.
"My judgment would be that Stephen was a pretty competent guy and undertaking a very difficult job and needed the support of his board and not to be sacked," said Bontje.
Hughes said he anticipates two more resignations from members of the board in the near future. Current board member Tony Franceschini said he is considering leaving the board. He plans to announce his decision sometime Thursday afternoon.
Hughes said Dr. Chris Eagle, the current Executive Vice President of Quality and Services improvement for Alberta Health Services, will now step in as the acting CEO.
The board will begin the process to recruit a new CEO.
With files from Bill Fortier