Robert Adams is stepping down as the CEO of , effectiveDec. 31.
Adams will, however, continue to be a nonexecutive chairmanof the board after his retirement, according to a news release. In his morethan 40-year tenure with National HealthCare, Adams served as the company's CEOsince 2004.
The company's board of directors is looking to form atransition plan and will commence the search for Adams' replacement soon. Bothinternal and external candidates will be considered for the position.