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Affordable Care CEO Gene Kirtser to Retire, New Chief Executive Appointed

Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2024

Affordable Care, LLC, America's largest dental support organization (DSO) focused on tooth replacement services, announced today that Chief Executive Officer Gene Kirtser will retire from the company at the end of February 2024. Kirtser informed the Board last year of his intention to retire, and a search for a new CEO was started to support a seamless transition.

Pete Bridgman will succeed Kirtser as the new Chief Executive Officer.

"The Affordable Care Board of Directors expresses its deep gratitude to Gene for his strong leadership over the last six plus years," said Joe Delaney, Chairman of the Board for Affordable Care. "Gene recruited an outstanding leadership team to Affordable Care, expanded the company's services and built tight alignment between doctors and the DSO. The company saw tremendous growth under his leadership and has a very bright future."

During Kirtser's tenure, Affordable Care supported the expansion of patient access to high-quality and affordable tooth replacement care, growing from 220 to 440 affiliated dental practices across 43 states.

"It's been a privilege to lead Affordable Care through a time of significant transformation and growth," said Kirtser. "I am proud of our team and the many accomplishments achieved together, along with the esteemed doctors from across the Affordable Care supported practice network whose expertise, compassion and commitment have been the cornerstone of Affordable Care's mission to changing patient lives for the better."

He added, "I look forward to seeing the continued success of this incredible organization."

Appointment of Pete Bridgman as Affordable Care CEO

Pete Bridgman is a veteran consumer healthcare and retail executive, having served most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Visionworks, the sixth largest optical retailer in the U.S., and as Chief Network Officer of VSP Vision, the second largest U.S. vision care company, following VSP's acquisition of Visionworks in 2019. Prior to joining Visionworks, Pete previously served as President of Pearle Vision and President of LensCrafters – both brands under EssilorLuxottica, the world's largest vision care company.

"Pete is a mission-driven, highly-qualified leader who brings an excellent mix of healthcare and retail experience to Affordable Care," explained Delaney. "The Board of Directors is thrilled to have Pete lead Affordable Care through this next stage of growth, and we are highly confident that he can help this successful organization continue to have a profound impact on the lives of patients."

Bridgman shared, "I am honored and excited to lead the next phase of Affordable Care as CEO and look forward to building on the strong foundation that Gene and this team have created. I have tremendous respect for the impact that Affordable Care and its supported practices have made on the lives of patients for nearly 50 years. I'm eager to begin working with the team in extending the company's leading position in providing life-changing tooth replacement services." 

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