Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush steps down amid misconduct allegations

Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush is stepping down amid allegations of misconduct.

The company said Wednesday that Bush, who co-founded the publicly listed provider of health information technology services, will resign effective immediately and leave the company's board of directors. 

Athenahealth, which has faced pressure from hedge funds to boost its value to shareholders, also said it will explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company. 

Shares of Athenahealth, whose market capitalization is $6.4 billion, jumped more than 4 percent in early trading. 

Bush has faced allegations of inappropriate behavior in recent weeks. A former employee has accused him of creating a "sexually hostile" environment at work. He was also recently forced to apologize for assaulting his then-wife in 2005 after reports of several incidents surfaced in the British press.

"I believe that working for something larger than yourself is the greatest thing a human can do," Bush said in a statement. "A family, a cause, a company, a country -- these things give shape and purpose to an otherwise mechanical and brief human existence. Athenahealth is a near once-in-a-lifetime example of such a thing. With that lens on, it's easy for me to see that the very things that made me useful to the company and cause in these past 21 years are now exactly the things that are in the way."

Bush is the brother of Billy Bush, the former "Access Hollywood" host. He is a cousin of former President George W. Bush.

Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt has been named executive chairman and will take over day-to-day operations for Athenahealth.