Background: In order to face the unsustainability of the healthcare sector, the Italian reforms of the 90s–in line with international trends – transform healthcare organizations into accountable ‘business-like’ entities. With great expectations on their ability to achieve results in terms of quality and efficiency, it becomes crucial to select the right people to drive them. This study defines the profile of the most innovative CEOs in the sector. Methods: The work arises from a previous study conducted by AGENAS that identified the managerially most innovative Italian healthcare organizations. After a deep analysis of CEOs’ biographies, through a semi-structured questionnaire, additional information concerning their educational and professional background was collected. Results: Although no dominating profile emerges in terms of educational background – suggesting it is not clear whether it is preferable that CEOs hold a degree in Medicine or in other disciplines – the most innovative CEOs have mainly developed their careers within the public healthcare sector and not in other private industries. Practice Implications: This study provides important implications in terms of CEOs’ selection. This, provides interesting food for thought on how career ladders should be designed within the sector and how effective these are in assuring the development of appropriate skills.
- career ladders
- top management