The board of directors of Catholic Health Services has ousted its chief executive, eight months after he took over.

Lawrence McManus, who came to the health care network from a New Haven, Conn., hospital in April, has been succeeded by CHS board chairman Richard Sullivan, CHS announced Tuesday.

Sullivan, 62, had served on a voluntary basis as chief executive for the network following James Harden's retirement in July 2011, until McManus assumed the post nine months later.

"We are appreciative of the contributions that Mr. McManus provided to the organization during his tenure with CHS," the board of directors said in a statement.

"However, at this time, the board of directors felt it was necessary to move the organization in a different direction."

Catholic Health Services spokeswoman Christine Hendriks declined to say why the board voted to replace McManus.

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His last day was Saturday, Hendriks said.

She praised Sullivan's "deep commitment to Catholic health care."

"Our goal is to ensure we continue to deliver the highest level of quality care possible, supported by a deep commitment to Christ's healing ministry in the Diocese of Rockville Centre," Sullivan said in a statement.

Sullivan was formerly a board member of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and chairman of the board for Our Lady of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center in West Islip.

"Mr. Sullivan shares the desire of the 17,500 employees and 4,600 CHS physicians to maintain the highest level of quality care to comfort, heal and nurture its patients," the board said.

The network includes six hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for people with special needs.