Franklin-based hospital company Community Health Systems has a new lead director following the death of Julia North late last year.

CHS’ board last week named longtime board member John Clerico as North’s successor. He will serve as the top non-executive director for the company.

John Clerico

John Clerico

Clerico has been a member of the CHS board since 2003. He has held several senior-level positions in different industries throughout his career, including as co-founder of ChartMark Investments and as chairman and interim CEO at oil and gas company Global Industries.

Relatedly, Ben Fordham, CHS general counsel and executive vice president, is scheduled to step down at the end of the month.

CHS owns or leases 83 hospitals with approximately 13,000 beds, and shares in the company closed the week at $10.76, down more than 12 percent on the day.