Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson said Thursday he'll retire in December 2013.

Halvorson, who's served as chairman and CEO of the giant intergrated health care system since 2002, says he's announcing his retirement a full year prior to his departure to ensure an effective transition to his successor. His successor will take over the company just as it moves into 2014, when the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect.

Kaiser says it will begin searching for a new leader.

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