Mayo Clinic names Noseworthy's successor

Gianrico Farrugia, Mayo Clinic CEO

A new leader will take the reins of Mayo Clinic’s growing health system at start of 2019.

Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, CEO of Mayo Clinic Florida, was announced Friday as the successor of Dr. John Noseworthy and the next president and CEO of all of Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees said Farrugia will step into the role at the start of 2019, when Noseworthy plans to retire.

Noseworthy and his replacement will work together for much of the rest of this year to prepare for the transition. Farrugia will work to wrap up his duties and help choose his successor in Florida.

"We anticipate a very seamless and smooth transition. We’ve worked together for years. The organization knows him. He’s the perfect leader for the time," Noseworthy said this week.


He added that after nine years under his leadership, the change should not cause any significant bumps for Mayo Clinic or the community.

"One thing we can do is to make sure the staff and community are not confused by or disrupted by this transition," Noseworthy said. "I don’t think they’ll even notice. … and that’s a good thing for them and for Rochester."

Farrugia, who has worked at Mayo Clinic for 30 years, has been CEO in Florida since 2015. He leads a staff of more than 6,400 employees there.

He also represented Mayo Clinic in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Prior to his time in Florida, Farrugia was director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine and was co-founder of the Center for Innovation at Mayo Clinic.

He also is co-author of "Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast: A Blueprint for Transformation From the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation," a book about the need for change in the delivery of health care. Farrugia also has published more than 250 articles on genomics and the treatment of disorders of gastrointestinal motility.

"I spent 26 years in Rochester, and I look forward to coming back and enjoying the community again," Farrugia said. "I’m excited to continue to be an advocate for (Destination Medical Center) and to continue to find ways to bring new partners into town to help Rochester grow. At the same time, also be able to bring ingenuity and innovation and fresh approaches to the future of health care."

As a native of Malta, Farrugia will be the first leader of the clinic not born in North America since Dr. W.W. Mayo, who was born in England.


Since the beginning, Mayo Clinic has always had doctors in its leadership positions. However, they don’t work alone.

"We are paired with an administrator, so we get best of both worlds at Mayo. That partnership is critical," Noseworthy said. "Physicians understand the needs of patients. They understand the science and educational side of things."

In recent years, Mayo Clinic’s revenues and patient numbers have grown to record levels. Clinic facilities have expanded on all three campuses. Mayo Clinic was named as the best medical institution in the country in 2016 and 2017.

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature approved the Destination Medical Center initiative, a 20-year, $5.6 billion economic development initiative. DMC is the focal point for upgrading the city of Rochester and preparing for a predicted influx of 30,000 new jobs related to Mayo Clinic’s growth.

In Rochester, Interim Chamber President Kathleen Harrington congratulated Noseworthy on his work and supported naming Farrugia to the position.

"The Chamber looks forward to working with Dr. Farrugia when his tenure begins in January 2019. Dr. Farrugia’s leadership in Florida and Jacksonville in particular evidences a commitment to engagement with the Chamber, business community and to Mayo Clinic being an integral part of the local community," she wrote.

During the news briefing about the transition, Noseworthy described Mayo Clinic as being in a "very, very strong position." However, he previously commented success is something Mayo Clinic has to work constantly to retain.

"We need to continue to make sure that Rochester has what it needs to be competitive. There are many out there who want to take that flag away from us, who want to be the Destination Medical Center," he said.{div class="subscriber-preview"}Mayo Clinic tallied strong financials in 2017, earning an operating income of $707 million and revenue of $11.99 billion up respectively from $475 million and $10.99 billion in the previous year.


In 2016, Noseworthy earned a base salary $2.71 million and $88,120 in other compensation for a total of $2.79 million.

Farrugia earned a base salary of $1.06 million and $66,773 in other compensation in 2016 for a total of $1.12 million.{/div}


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