Early Sunday morning, Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman, and CEO of Kaiser Permanente passed away in his sleep. Tyson, who was a staunch advocate of diversity and racial justice, was the company’s first Black CEO, and worked for Kaiser for over 30 years.

In a press release, Kaiser stated:

On behalf of our Board of Directors, employees and physicians, we extend our deepest sympathies to Bernard’s family during this very difficult time. An outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans, Bernard was a tireless advocate for Kaiser Permanente, our members and the communities we serve. Most importantly, Bernard was a devoted husband, father and friend. We all will miss his tremendous presence in our lives.

“Bernard was an exceptional colleague, a passionate leader, and an honorable man. We will greatly miss him,” said board member Edward Pei, Chair of the Executive Committee and the Governance, Accountability and Nominating Committee. “The board has full confidence in Greg Adams’ ability to lead Kaiser Permanente through this unexpected transition.”

Over the last couple of years, Tyson was a staple at the annual ESSENCE Festival and in 2019, was interviewed by ESSENCE Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis during the first-ever Global Black Economic Forum.

During the Essence Fesitval 2019 Convention Center held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana on Friday, July 5, 2019.

According to CNN, earlier this week, Tyson spoke on a panel at AT&T about the need for companies to embrace inclusiveness and diversity.

“What I’m after is bringing the most diverse populations inside of my organization and tapping into the brilliant minds that come from a universe of experiences that are very different depending on how you grew up, your community, your neighborhood, how you solve problems,” Tyson said at the AT&T event Tuesday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Tyson’s family.

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