Jeffrey Barbakow, the once-highly respected head of Tenet Healthcare ( THC) who saw his reputation tarnished by well-timed stock sales as the company slipped into scandal, resigned as chief executive Tuesday.

"I consider this step a part of my personal commitment to do anything I can to restore Tenet to its rightful place of leadership in our industry," Barbakow, 59, said in a release. Barbakow had previously stated his intentions to resign as chairman after the company's shareholders meeting in July. The CEO's resignation is effective immediately.

The company named Trevor Fetter acting chief executive. Fetter was chief executive of Tenet spinoff Broadlane until returning to the parent as president in November 2002. Before that he'd served in various Tenet positions, including chief financial officer.

The company set up a board committee to search for a permanent chief executive, and said Fetter will be considered along with external candidates.

Barbakow and three other Tenet directors said last spring they'd leave the board amid criticisms they were asleep at the wheel as the company became mired in a Medicaid scandal that resulted in several investigations.

The shares added 50 cents, or 3%, to $16.05 on Instinet following news of Barbakow's resignation.

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