Paul Levy In The Hot Seat

On Tuesday’s Radio Boston, Meghna interviews Beth Israel Deaconess CEO Paul Levy, who has admitted to an improper relationship with a hospital co-worker that may have lasted for years.

The hospital board fined Levy $50,000 and asked Attorney General Martha Coakley to review its handling of the transgression. Levy openly and plainly apologized, saying he looks forward to “putting this chapter behind us.” Now Levy embarks on a speaking tour to rebuild his image — reminding people of his reform work at the hospital and at that other agency in the news lately, the MWRA.

I want to know what you think about all the hubbub at Beth Israel. Can Levy focus on running a major hospital after a high-profile embarrassment? Is his personal life any of our business? Meghna’s conversation is being recorded in advance of the live broadcast, so we can’t take calls. But you can shout out in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Paul Levy In The Hot Seat

  1. jemimah

    None of our business, and enough already! There are lots of way more interesting things going on in our local hospitals. Talk to someone doing some cool research!

  2. Roberto

    While apparently a very talented person, Mr. Levy also built his reputation on “doing the right thing” — he broke his own rule by compromising values and setting a bad example for other staff. Any CEO knows the mere hint of such favoritism (cushy jobs, access to high places or inside info, salary/departure packages, etc), breeds bad morale. A romantic relationship just heightens the negative response by other employees. How can Mr. Levy possibly expect some of them not to think they too might be “above the law”? This typifies GO’s theme in Animal Farm: “Some animals were created more equal than others…”

    This is no simple “mistake” but immensely poor judgment. An enlarged ego more likely. Sort of like when Jack Welch had his dalliance with the HBS “journalist” or Bill Clinton embarrassed his family, let alone an entire nation, with a White House intern. Adult or not, Mr. Levy’s extramarital activity with an employee, let alone one who was reporting to him at some point in the relationship, and enjoyed other benefits of his affection, is perceived as an abuse by most of the people I have spoken to about this. I suspect he has critically damaged his leadership and effectiveness and it is only a matter of time before he is gone. As an experienced professional and leader, Mr. Levy should have known better. The board obviously thinks he is irreplaceable, which either sends one of two messages: “We will put up with anything to keep him” or “We don’t really have a backbone.” Were I a board member, I would have voted for dismissal (given the very limited info I have heard in press to date). But, forced to accept the Board’s majority decision of “50k fine,” Mr. Levy would be under my intense scrutiny for a long time to be sure he makes no other “mis-steps” and damaged my organization again.