Cleveland Clinic names Tomislav Mihaljevic as new CEO

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, has been selected to succeed Toby Cosgrove, MD, as the next president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic beginning on Jan. 1, 2018.

The departure of Cosgrove after 13 years at the helm was announced in May. The search committee found his replacement at the Clinic’s multispecialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, where Mihaljevic has served as CEO since 2015.

“Though healthcare is in the midst of a major transformation, Cleveland Clinic is very well positioned for the future,” Mihaljevic said in a statement. “Our ongoing success will hinge on our ability to maintain high-quality outcomes, while reducing healthcare costs, encouraging innovation, and improving access and affordability for patients.”

Mihaljevic, 53, was born in Croatia and earned his medical degree from the University of Zagreb. He moved to the U.S. in 1995 to work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston before joining Cleveland Clinic as a cardiothoracic surgeon “specializing in minimally invasive and robotically assisted heart surgeries.” He became chief of staff and chief of the heart and vascular institute at the 364-bed Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in 2011 before being promoted to CEO.

“Dr. Mihaljevic brings a depth of experience, first as an innovative, world-class surgeon and more recently as a hospital executive focused on healthcare quality and safety, patient experience and business strategy,” said Robert Rich Jr., chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Directors.

Rich added that the Clinic has grown by “unprecedented strides” since Cosgrove took over in 2004. He oversaw a period of expansion for the system, including the Abu Dhabi hospital, adding new cancer and vascular centers and other international centers like its planned London facility. During his time at the helm, the system’s revenue has grown from $3.7 billion to $8.5 billion and total visits increased from 2.8 million to 7.1 million.

The transition plan will see Cosgrove assume an advisory role effective at the beginning of the next year, though exactly what that will entail has yet to be determined.

“While I may be stepping aside as president and CEO, I will not be leaving Cleveland Clinic behind,” Cosgrove said in a statement. “No place else functions quite like Cleveland Clinic, with its physician-driven, patient-centered ethos that encourages clinical excellence, medical education, research and innovation. I look forward to working with Dr. Mihaljevic in any way that I can to further the Cleveland Clinic mission.”