OAKLAND -- Kaiser Permanente says its top boss, George Halvorson, will retire in December 2013 as chairman and chief executive of the health services giant.

Halvorson has served in that capacity since 2002. Under his leadership Kaiser has grown to serve more than 9 million members, pioneered electronic health records and is often seen as a model for the future of health care. The CEO made the announcement Thursday to Kaiser workers.

Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, an enterprise-wide electronic health record system, was launched under Halvorson's leadership. KP HealthConnect now is the largest non-governmental system electronic health records system in the world,

During the Halvorson tenure, Kaiser also has gained recognition for being an industry leader in an array of initiatives, including breast cancer screening, weight assessment for children, cholesterol management, asthma care, osteoporosis management and comprehensive diabetes care.

Kaiser has more than 9 million members and produces nearly $50 billion in annual revenue.

Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.